Friday, June 27, 2008

William Aila Jr on MP 96950

William Aila Jr, Cinta Kaipat and Jay Nelson appaeared on John O Gonzalez' TV talk show, MP 96950, last month to talk about the experience of Indigenous Hawai'ians with the designation and management of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the proposed Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. I cut the hour long program into six 10 minute long segments and put them up on Youtube.

John's show is on every other Wednesday on KSPN Channel 2. As far as I know, you have to be on Saipan to watch it. I don't think it is rebroadcast anywhere else. Although we mostly use English on this episode, the show, as far as I know, is the only regular Chamorro language television program in existence.

Here is the show:


dominic said...

Hey Angelo,

If this was discussed on the show please forgive me I don't have broadband connection anymore to watch these vids but I want to get this out into the MTMNM discussion.

If for whatever reason the whole PEW backed MTMNM doesn't go through will you still pursue the world-class/real enforcement and declaration of some type of monument concerning the already protected areas of the northern 3 islands?

The reason I ask you is because of how succesful Beutify CNMI was that seemed like a real grassroots movement. I am kind of saddened that with this success, in as much as the appearance of the Beautify CNMI and the Saipan Blogosphere to many of us outside the CNMI, you didnt stick to the raising awareness and recognition for those islands and waters on a more local scale.

I guess my real question is why did you go this route? From a grassroots local scale approach of environmental protection and awareness to a Multi-Billion$$$ Charitable trust and federal involvement in less than a year! Its like watching start-up companies develop their first product and branding and then immediately swing for venture capitalist funding or IPO. A lot will be lost in the learning process which to me is important for forging a resilient product.

I was excited to watch your work develop and grow on this blog and even more excited to see pics of Uracas and Maug. I thought a lot more could have been done to get the community more involved before the King George gets to sign off of his legacy. If more residents had a chance to go up there and see it for themselves then they would build a more personal connection and the consensus would have much more meaning within the community. I'm just saying its a far cry from picking up a styrofoam plate from the beach on Saipan with your barehand to reading an AP article announcing the new monument not having ever seen it with your own eyes and assume that nature is better off than it was before. Being part of the world-class Bush Collection of Marine Sanctuaries sure it noteworthy but not for the reasons the tend to the sake of mother nature but his personal political power.

More thoughts again after I watch the vids, thanx!

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Hey D,

If Bush leaves office without declaring a Monument we would be back at square one with this process. There will be a new congress and a new president, all with different agendas.

This president has shown interest in ocean conservation. Will future presidents show an interest?

Maybe. Maybe not.

We have an opportunity now. They opportunity may come again. It may not.

I will tell you that without Pew Environment Group, I wouldn't have the resources to do what I'm doing now. We've spent thousands of dollars just in color copies. I don't have that kind of money.

I also don't have any connections to the White House. Not many people in the CNMI do. Pew Environment Group does.

As for the federal involvement issue, there has yet to be any federal involvement. The White House has done nothing publicly concerning the proposed monument.

Pew is a non-profit, non-government private group. They are not the Federal Government.

Let me know what you think about the video.

dominic said...


I guess I spoke too soon. It seems you guys have been busy getting the word out to the community about the PEW proposal and these vids really help validate that aspect especially to us coconuts abroad. As Mr. Aila was saying, much of the proponents against the sanctuary is from intra-govt agency infighting i.e.WESPAC trying to hold on to their budget/territory meal-ticket.

One thing that I did note that the PEW panel emphasized was co-management of the monument. I don’t understand why some of our CNMI officials are being such hardballs working with PEW. I can accept them being stubborn about the issue but they can’t afford to be deaf or blind to it. Their behavior is indicative of the way they approach propositions from outside investors. Co-management isn’t a politicians campaign promise as it seems this would be the Bush admin and the Blue legacy’s ideal arrangement. CNMI residents and leaders should take this opportunity to at least consider what role they would like to play if the monument is approved.

One caller asked if there was going to be a physical structure as a “monument”. May I suggest a buoy? Preferably with a webcam on it? That would be freakin’ awesome. It should probably come equipped with a wiper blade or something to wipe off the bird-crap from the lens once in a while.

Also what exactly does PEW need to give the go-ahead to GWB? Signatures? Petitions? CNMI govt. resolutions? What are they going to use to measure the approval of this proposal?

Good info, keep it coming.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Well, Pew Environment Group won't give the go-ahead. We won't be making any decisions for anyone. We are not a government. Only the government can make those decisions.

dominic said...

I understand that PEW is an NGO non-profit. But what does it take really? Is it just a matter of Fitial calling Bush and saying "yes, we like it" or is there some overriding representative approval on the matter that the Bush admin would like to see like a special election or a legislative resolution?

I get it, you're out there trying to educate the public about the proposed monument. We would hope that an educated public would communicate to their elected reps whether or not they like the proposal. Is it getting easier? Have you guys sat down with the "forces of evil" yet?

You don't have to reply. I'll probably find the answer soon enough via the news.