U.S. engagement in the Pacific

Washington, DC – The United States sees the Pacific Islands as an essential part of the free and open Indo-Pacific region and we are committed to the Pacific Islands’ future security and prosperity. As a demonstration of our commitment, the United States – through more than 17 departments and agencies – committed more than $350 million in FY 2017 to our engagement with the Pacific Islands via projects, assistance, and operations that directly benefit the over 10 million people of the region.

The United States partners with the Pacific Islands to tackle global and regional challenges, including promoting regional security and stability, advancing sustainable growth and prosperity, addressing environmental challenges, providing assistance for natural disasters, and strengthening our people-to-people ties.

Combatting Ocean Acidification: Ocean acidification poses a threat to ocean ecosystems, which are a source of tourism, fisheries revenues, and food security for the Pacific Islands. To increase our understanding of this phenomenon, in 2016 the United States announced the Enhancing Capacity for Ocean Acidification Monitoring and Mitigation (OAMM) program. OAMM is a public-private partnership of government, civil society, and private stakeholders focused on building capacity of scientists in the Pacific Islands and Latin America to monitor ocean acidification and to assess the impact of seagrass restoration on local ocean chemistry. Through this project, the United States aims to increase worldwide coverage of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON). OAMM has leveraged additional support for capacity building activities that helped expand the reach of the project. Since its launch, OAMM has hosted two science training workshops at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji; trained 23 scientists from 10 Pacific Islands countries; created and procured customized equipment kits for scientists in 7 countries; helped develop monitoring plans for 7 countries; created an e-learning space for kit recipients through the Ocean Acidification Information Exchange, and awarded three mentorship scholarships.

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