By Lori Lyn Lirio
TO raise funds for the environment and to prove that the community has moved beyond “it is not my problem” to “my world, my problem,” the 2018 Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance Green last month staged a gala.
About 200 people attended the annual gala held on September 14 at Hibiscus Hall in Fiesta Resort & Spa, said MINA Executive Director Roberta Guerrero.
Stressing that the Green gala’s aim was to promote environmental awareness and to raise funds for their programs, Guerrero said some of MINA’s programs include Tasi Watch where rangers go and do surveillance – particularly in Garapan watershed to watch out for violation such as illegal dumping that could end in the ocean. Another program is conservation awareness where Green members go to schools and teach the children about the important things of conserving the resources to keep the environment healthy.
Guerrero noted that a few days before the gala, the 200 tickets were already sold out.
“It means they support the work that we do.”
Guerrero added the Green gala was also a celebration of the International Year of the Reef. They have set up the venue with corals and ocean-theme to highlight the need to care for the ocean.
“We have seen a lot of coral bleaching, do the climate change, rising temperatures of our ocean. We have seen the massive storms from the Atlantic all the way through the Pacific which is caused by climate change,” Guerrero said in an interview.
MINA Chairperson Fran Castro thanked the sponsors of the Green gala.
“They are the voices who want to make the difference for our resources. This event is for our islands, our culture, and for the resources.”
MINA has been hosting Green gala for six years. Castro noted that tickets were always sold out.
“We are happy a lot of people support us. We are the only group in the CNMI that does a lot of work to protect the environment. People really embrace it. In the same event, Kathy Yuknavage received the
Environmental Champion award.
When it comes to environment, Monique Sablan, mistress of the ceremony, said Yuknavage as someone “who raised her voice when no one would and move ahead when we lose momentum.”
Mount Carmel School’s Eco Club is this year’s recipient of Green Hero award.
Master of ceremony Romolo Orsini said the MCS Eco club created the organization in 2017 without knowing if they fail or not or not knowing how to find funding for their environmental project.
“Nonetheless, these people went ahead with the creation of their organization by setting up events and gather over 70 individuals to join their club. The club aims to learn more about the environment and also gain a passion for the conservation of the islands.”
“We are honored to receive this award,” MCS Counselor Tobed Smith said. “It is our role as educators to guide our students. We need to get our students to care for the environment and make an effort to keep our islands clean and preserve it for the generations to come.”
N15 Architects received the Green Business of the Year for setting a good example to be a good steward by promoting the protection of the island’s resources in every project they make.
Cris Fryling, of N15 Architecht, said “being green and taking care of the planet is something that we have always put into practice. We have tried to incorporate that in the projects we do.”