Journal Article Environmental Degradation (Dumped Vehicles) in Major Islands of the Federated States of Micronesia

REHMAN, Hafiz Ur

35 ( 2 )  , pp.57 - 66 , 鹿児島大学
Environmental degradation due to urbanization in major islands (e.g. Pohnpei, and Weno Island in Chuuk state) of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a growing problem for the future generations of the islanders. In this study, I highlight a major environmental degradation problem in these islands which is associated with the disposal of abandoned vehicles. The Island of Pohnpei, the capital city of the FSM, and the Island of Weno, a major city in the Chuuk state, are the most populous areas, comprising about 40 % of the population of FSM. Both these islands have partially to fully paved roads encircling the islands among which some roads extend to inside valleys to some extent. The main source of transportation within the islands for the inhabitants is either walk or via private vehicles. Since, there is no regular bus or public transport system; people tend to depend on own vehicles to move around. However, due to bad road conditions and non-availability of proper repair shops, the vehicles are abandoned after a few years. In addition, the absence of proper regulatory measures from the government sector and no vehicle scrappage facility, the abandoned vehicles stay forever on the islands and present a bad impression of the locals on the tourism industry. In this study, I suggest several remedial points that could be useful for the environmental protection of the country, hence will also attract more foreign tourists to contribute foreign revenue in the country. (1) If there is an arrangement of public transportation by the government or private sector, the level of dependency of local population on their personal vehicles will reduce. (2) If a proper scrappage program by public sector or used-cars traders is introduced (e.g. when someone buys a vehicle, it should be replaced with the old or damaged vehicle, or the issuance of vouchers/discounted tickets, or recycle certificates), people will begin to recycle their used vehicles which will be helpful for the preservation of natural beauty of the islands. (3) In addition, public awareness programs should be put in action in order to make these measures effective. The problem of environmental degradation is not yet very big, however, with passage of time and with no remedy it can be a big threat to the limited natural environment of islands and to its inhabitants.

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