(Press release) – The 2021 class of the Pacific Century Fellows-Marianas Chapter had their second retreat on May 20, 2021 in the boardroom of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, with the 13-member cohort gaining a deeper perspective on environmental development at CNMI.
From zoning permits to environmental quality, marine biology, fisheries, natural and coastal resources, the cohort received sufficient information on environmental protection and development.
Lee Tenorio, Class 2021 Fellow and Executive Director of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, said from a business perspective, the presentation of Commonwealth Zoning Office Administrator Geralyn D. Dela Cruz on Zoning permits were very useful as it is helpful to identify the variety of permits needed to conduct a residential or commercial project.
“Working with local businesses large and small is a typical permit concern when it comes to the one-time application process, as it consists of multiple agencies for approval,” Tenorio said.
Tenorio has learned that in order to move forward with projects, be it construction, renovation or expansion, permit requirements must be met. With knowledge of this information, it will give him a clear and concise direction on how to proceed.
Victoria Deleon Guerrero, Director of Institutional Development at Mount Carmel School, said all the presentations regarding environmental development were very informative.
“As an educator, it is useful for me to meet the different leaders involved in the management of natural resources and the different existing sectors so that I can also present these professions to my students so that they consider university”, she declared.
Deleon Guerrero added that this is a great opportunity to be able to speak with community leaders to understand what is going on, what our challenges are, what is working and what we are doing to move forward with the development. without compromising our environment.
Another educator, Dr Riya Nathrani, found the presentation from the Micronesian Islands Nature Alliance and the Bureau of Environment and Coastal Quality to be the most informative and useful. Dr Nathrani said she enjoyed learning more about programs MINA is running to improve the environment, from the Bring Back Our Trees campaign to beach clean-ups with Tasi Watch rangers.
Dr Nathrani has worked with MINA’s environmental conservation program for the past two years. This program has allowed his students to get involved in several projects at school where they learn about the protection and preservation of the environment.
“I liked hearing the BECQ talk about their objectives in terms of improving the quality of the environment. The presentation focused on coral reef conservation, pesticides, waste management and air quality, and sewage and erosion control, ”said Dr Nathrani.
Dr Nathrani added that these topics allowed him and other members of the CPF class to discuss the implications of leaders in the community and how environmental factors can influence decisions that everyone. world takes.
The 2021 class will have their third retreat on June 16 and the group will talk about health and humanitarian services in the Marianas. The other members of the 2021 class are Nicole Babauta, Broc Calvo, Weston Thomas Deleon Guerrero, William “Billy” Richard Grow II, Hedwig Hofschneider, Julie Ann Litulumar, Ana Mendiola, Annette Pladevega and John Gilbert Saludez.
The PCF-Marianas Chapter would like to thank Dela Cruz, Acting Director of the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality-Division of Environmental Quality Zabrina Shai, MINA Program Director David L. Benavente, Vice President of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council John Gourley , Rep. Sheila Babauta, Director of the Coastal Resource Management Division of BECQ, Janice Castro, for their contribution to the discussions.
The Pacific Century Fellows Marianas Chapter is a nine-month leadership development program hosted by the Tan Siu Lin Foundation and inspired by the Pacific Century Fellows of Hawaii.