05.12.2011 - UNESCO Office in Apia

Safeguarding Nan Madol in Micronesia

Nan Madol in Micronesia

First Community Consultation Held in Ponhpei

A consultation workshop on the safeguarding of Nan Madol was held in Ponhpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), from 23 to 26 November 2011.  The consultation provided the first opportunity for all key stakeholders to convene and discuss the safeguarding of Nan Madol, a complex of archaeological sites built on a coastal reef flat near the small Tewen Island on the east coast of Pohnpei.  Nan Madol comprises a set of almost 100 stone and coral fill platforms or artificial islets separated by narrow channels and enclosed by an outer sea wall.

Keynote addresses were delivered by Dr Rufno Mauricio, Secretary of Department of Education of FSM, Prof Kataoka, representing Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage (JCIC-Heritage), as well as Wasa Lapalap Isipahu, Nahnmwarki of Madolenihmx, Traditional Chief of the region in which Nan Maol is located.  Signifcantly, the address of the Chief included a full endorsement of the proposed World Heritage nomination for Nan Madol, on behalf of himself and local traditional owners of the property.

The consultation examined issues relating to the Nan Madol safeguarding at sessions on specific topies; i) Community participation, ii) Environmental managment, iii) In the context of Pacific regional cooperation, iv) Reconciling safeguarding and promotion for sustainable development, v) National strategy and action plan, as well as through field visit to the site.

Through discussions, agreement was reached on the work to be done, the necessary resources and a timeline to prepare and submit the nomination.  Commitments of further conributions to the work were made by the local leadership and community, the state and national governments, and by national and international NGOs.

The participants will meet again in one year time to discuss a draft management plan for the safeguarding of Nan Madol which will be prepared by FSM authorities in close consultation with stakeholders.

This consultation was funded under the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust and conducted in partnership with JCIC-Heritage.

Photo by JCIC-Heritage/Seiji HIRONO

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