US Embassy provides grants for physical and cultural refurbishment of Nan Madol World Heritage site

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

November 9, 2018

IMG 2120Pohnpei—This morning, Nan Madol, Pohnpei’s World Heritage site, one of the foundations of Pohnpei culture was the focus of two large grants provided by the United States government during a ceremony at the US Embassy in Nett.  The grants are intended to help to preserve both the physical structure of Nan Madol, which is on the list of World Heritage sites in danger, and the cultural preservation of the site.

Due to a delay in flights that meant missed connections, the representative for the largest grant recipient, Cultural Site Research and Management Foundation (, Mr. Douglas Comer was unable to join in the event.  The US Embassy awarded CSRM with a $375,000 grant to aid in removing Nan Madol from the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

Embassy materials said that the CSRM conservation measures include:

Ensuring the accessibility of archaeological sites located on selected islets with preference for the nine islets that local communities and administrations are interested in developing for tourism, should that prove to be feasible and sustainable;

managing the spread of invasive vegetation that has overgrown the archaeological site;IMG 2102

Developing a continued educational outreach program to train a skilled local workforce that will assist in future conservation efforts; and Implementing a plan for continued monitoring of the endangered cultural heritage.

“Evidence-based decision making, which relies on geophysical and remote sensing studies, will inform the development of conservation strategies and will be instrumental in the formulation of a comprehensive tourism strategy, which has been suggested by ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) as a measure necessary for the removal of Nan Madol from the List of World Heritage in Danger,” their grant application said.ontinued monitoring of the endangered cultural heritage.

Students from the College of Micronesia FSM came to the ceremony by the bus load.  COM-FSM received a $40,000 grant for COM’s “Filming Our Journeys” project in conjunction with the U.S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation award to conserve the World Heritage site Nan Madol.

“Through this award, students will receive training in storytelling and in digital storytelling techniques to empower them to create films and other media that interpret and promote Nan Madol and other sites of cultural heritage in the Federated States of Micronesia,” the grant application said.

“Additional elements of this program will connect Micronesian students to interpreters and conservators of other imperiled cultural heritage in the United States. Funds from this grant will be used to support the College of Micronesia’s continued work with students engaged in preserving and recording the nation’s history. This includes further training in storytelling techniques as well as technical training in filmmaking, podcasting, and/or other digital storytelling or imaging technologies,” the successful grant application said.


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