This concept outlines a collaborative pilot project that will create a physical space to promote a healthy lifestyle, a model for a clean environment and further dissemination of education in line with the goal of ensuring sustainable livelihoods on Majuro Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The underlying philosophy for this project is to provide the public with access to land and recreational space both for activities and to further disseminate the importance of health, education and the environment to our lives. Moreover, the project will inspire other communities by modeling the positive management of such an area and educating the public about the critical interconnectedness between how we manage our surroundings and how natural systems function. The area will include (but not be limited to) a space for walking and exercising, a playground for children, a picnic area, and a garden and will be located near the Majuro International Airport
Diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity are rampant health issues in the Marshall Islands. With limited public spaces devoted to outdoor recreation in the islands, children are not learning the importance of outdoor play and recreational activities in their positive health and wellbeing. With the recent closure of one of the few public picnic and barbecue areas in Majuro, the need to develop and protect dedicated spaces for leisure and exercise has become crucial. At this time, there are only two public spaces for physical activity in the area between the airport and Rita (the weather station and the softball field behind the National Telecommunications Authority building).
Moreover, coral atolls such as the Marshall Islands are vulnerable to negative environmental and human impacts such as erosion and solid waste issues. Unfortunately, with minimal solid waste management awareness among the communities of the Marshall Islands, the problems associated are becoming critical. Educating the local community in environmentally sustainable practices is an essential step for the future of the islands. The children and the community must have means to learn through a community ownership model of environmentally sound spaces.
Finally, as the public area near the airport is a visitor’s first exposure to the island of Majuro after exiting the airport as tourists must travel the road beside this area towards the main town area. Those who frequent this area often leave a terrible mess that is ugly and unattractive for tourists and locals alike. It is essential that tourism be considered and the islands kept clean and attractive to those as visiting part of sustainable livelihood creations and environmental management plans.
Key Project Proponents
Kora in Okrane Club (KIO)
Kio is non-profit, charitable organization in the Marshall Islands. It was established in 2006 with a mission of providing targeted assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged groups, women and children in particular. The organization is made up of mostly younger and educated Marshallese women who have joined together to do good for society. Past community initiatives have included clothing drives, school drives, walking-shoe drives, mural construction/painting for the MDG, KIO scholarships, hosted a Cervical Cancer Symposium to name a few.
Tourism and Hospitality Community Association (TAHCA)
The Tourism and Hospitality Community Association (TAHCA) of the Marshall Islands is a Non-Governmental Organization. It was established in August 2009 by the students of the Tourism and Hospitality Level I Training Program, held in June and July of the year 2009 at the University of the South Pacific, Marshal Islands Campus. TAHCA’s mission statement is: “…to enrich the knowledge, social and cultural experience of members of the Tourism and Hospitality Community’s Association and to provide interaction with professionals within the Tourism and Hospitality fields. To actively participate in national and regional activities and affairs related to the fields of tourism and hospitality services. TAHCA shall continuously improve tourism opportunities, training, and standard. TAHCA shall encourage each member to reach his or her fullest potential by providing insight and meaningful experiences to the benefit of all those involved”.
RMI Ports Authority
The RMI Ports Authority was developed to contribute to the economic and social development of the Republic of the Marshall Islands by providing, maintaining, administering and managing efficient commercial airport and seaport facilities and services.
University of the South Pacific (USP)
The University of the South Pacific in the Marshall Islands is mandated to offer educational opportunities that reflect the national education and human resource needs of the country. The University’s Charter broadly defines its objectives as: “…the maintenance, advancement and dissemination of knowledge by teaching, consultancy and research and otherwise and for the provision of appropriate levels of education and training responsive to the well-being and needs of the communities in the South Pacific…”. The campus does this by offering Certificate, Diploma, Bachelors, Masters and PHD level programs through face-to-face contact, DFL and online modes.
- Track – walking/running space
- Picnic/BBQ area
- Cross walk/road bumps
- Waste management
- Compost toilet
Monique Levi-Strauss KIO CLUB
(692) 625 5290
Kimber Rilometo TAHCA
(692) 456 1456
Tamara Greenstone USP