U.S. Scientists Assist Freely Associated States to Combat Invasive Species

On November 29, representatives from the Regional Invasive Species Council (RISC) of Micronesia presented to the Micronesian Chief Executives’ Summit in Majuro on the importance of combating invasive species.  RISC of Micronesia is a Guam-based organization that has representatives in Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Saipan, whose main purpose is to work with member countries to combat invading species from invading their countries.  The RISC also conducted a radio interview regarding the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) that arrived on Guam in 2007.  When CRB arrives on a new island, it frequently kills over 50% of all coconut and other palms on the entire island.  If the CRB were to get to other small islands that are more dependent on Coconuts for food and economy, the impacts would be devastating.  CRB, like the brown tree snake, is an example of the many invasive species threats to the region.  RISC is working to develop a comprehensive Micronesia Biosecurity Plan (MBP) to prevent invasive species from damaging the environment, economy and cultural resources in Micronesia.   Active involvement by government officials and invasive species experts in each jurisdiction is critical in making the MBP a success.