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World Park

The World Park strategy is a “visionary and proactive” position put forward as a way to meet the stated aims of the FSM State and national governments for economic growth while at the same time creating a scenario in which the environment and culture can be sustained for future generations. The World Park will include all 1.3 million square miles of the Federated States of Micronesia, making it the largest park in the world.

Currently, a planning for the State of Pohnpei as it leads the Nation’s transition toward a sustainable “World Park” operation provides a solid foundation for civic engagement, economic development and international recognition. Creation of a World Park has the potential for significantly affecting how citizens of Micronesia view themselves and their role in the world.

Importance of Tourism Why a Park? Sustainable Development

Through the World Park structure each state will set its own proactive managed development strategy and get ahead of the dilemma faced by many small island developing states face. This dilemma is fast paced over development in the tourism sector, which adversely affects the daily lives of citizens. As development pressures increase more capacity will be added and then a point of no return is reached where citizens begin to ask “How can we go back to the safe and peaceful lives we once had?” Many small island developing states have opened the door to over development with no meaningful control mechanism to curb it.

 Tourism has great potential to drive positive economic development and improved social conditions. However, development by outside investors that is not carefully managed often leads to few jobs for local residents, low levels of reinvestment in the country, and a scarred landscape. Only with a sustainable development vision will tourism result in sustained or improved natural environments.

 The FSM has created an approach for long-term sustainability of the Nation’s cultures and environments as part of meaningful economic development and prosperity for all citizens. Recognizing that the criteria for a successful tourism development outcome for the FSM should be quality over quantity and that to achieve this outcome it must be thoughtfully planned, this generation of leaders is working to ensure a better near and distant future as the World Park.

 

 

The concept of “Park” evokes images of well-managed beautiful pristine natural resources, which provide an array of exciting outdoor recreation and leisure opportunities for visitors. Parks also are created to protect, preserve or conserve natural, cultural and historic resources. As a result, the concept of “park” can be viewed not only as physical places, but also as a management strategy that allows organizers to be thoughtful stewards of their natural, social and economic environments.                                             

 “World Park” is a concept akin to “National Park”, “Biosphere Reserve” and “World Heritage Site” in its purposes and vision, but would be unique in scope and national commitment. It is a park that is being defined and operated by the people of the Federated States of Micronesia to meet their needs, shaped by their traditions and managed by their values. The stewardship the World Park will serve the future of the citizens of the country, as well as the global community. Development and operation of such a resource draws upon lessons learned about sustainable resource development throughout the world and is used to enhance success by employing established and Micronesian specific best practices. These best practices are being set specific to each FSM state to reflect the values each possess for the course of future development. From its inception this initiative has as a base premise the inclusion of Micronesian leaders and citizens in developing a model that will reflect national and state self-determination.

 

 

Sustainable development is fostering development that is least destructive of natural states or assets and least disruptive to natural or human processes.      

Often sustainable development requires new ways of planning for growth and modernization, and newly formed policies to guide the planning to ensure long-term desired states.  A lack of sustainable development can mean that growth and modernization ruins or compromises assets and produces negative impacts to the environment, cultures, or economies.  Unsustainable development should and can be avoided through planning, policy, and practices that involve and engage affected groups.  Therefore, sustainable development requires an on-going process that guides a country or community to a desired end-state.           

 Through the use of selected tourism development zones, FSM conservation groups have already been successful in establishing biodiversity zones within lagoons.  A sustainable development model, particularly one that features tourism, can ensure these assets are protected for and appreciated by future generations of world citizens and contribute to local and national economies.

 Most importantly, sustainable development and conservation efforts go well together.  Most countries need and desire development to satisfy higher quality of living standards, growing populations, and the need for economic activity.  A World Park vision and approach would provide for both development and conservation, so that economic and social growth would continue to occur with sound environmental stewardship.

 

                                                                                                
                                                                                              

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