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THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is an island nation located in the Pacific
Ocean, north of Papua New Guinea. The word Micronesia originates from the Greek word
mikros which means small and nesos which
means island. The Federated States of
Micronesia is located in the region known as
Micronesia, which consists of hundreds of
small islands divided in eight territories. The
term Micronesia may refer to the Federated
States or to the region as a whole.
AREA: 271 sq mi (702 sq km). Land area,
includes islands of Pohnpei, Yap, Chuuk, and
POPULATION & LANGUAGE: Federated
States of Micronesia has a population of
107,665 (July 2008 est.).English has become
the common language of the government,
and for secondary and tertiary education.
There are eight major indigenous languages
of the Malayo-Polynesian linguistic family
spoken in the FSM: Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean,
Nukuoro, and Kapingamarangi.
GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE: The Federated States of Micronesia consists of 607 islands
extending 1,800 miles (2,900 km) across the archipelago of the Caroline Islands east of the
Philippines. The four constituent island groups are Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae. FSM
enjoys a tropical climate, with relatively even, warm temperatures throughout the year. The
climate in the FSM averages 80° F year round. Rainfall is heaviest during the summer
months. The rainfall on each island varies. Trade
winds come mainly from the northeast from
December to June. Pohnpei reputedly is one of
the wettest places on Earth, with some locations
on the interior of the island receiving up to 330
inches of rain per year. The trade wind season
generally occurs from December to March.
The people of Micronesia are classified as
Micronesians, although some inhabitants of
Pohnpei State are of Polynesian origin. They are
actually a heterogeneous mixture with different
customs and traditions bound together by recent
history and common aspiration. The cultural
diversity is typified by the existence of eight major
indigenous languages, although English remains
the official language of commerce. The cultural
similarities are indicated by the importance of traditional extended family and clan systems
found on each island.
Each of the four States has its own culture and traditions, but there are also common
cultural and economic bonds that are centuries old. In Kosrae State, the Congregational
Church plays an extremely important role in everyday life while in Chuuk, clan relationships
remain an important factor. Yap continues as the most traditional society in the FSM with
strong caste system. Over the last 15 years Pohnpei has rapidly developed as the most
westernized state in the nation.
The fishing industry over here is highly important. Foreign commercial fishing fleets pay
over $14 million annually for the right to operate in FSM territorial waters. These licensing
fees account for 28% of the national government revenues. Exports of marine products,
mainly to Japan, account for nearly 85% of export revenues. Around 18,000 tourists visit
the islands each year. Visitor attractions include scuba diving, World War II battle sites,
eco-tourism, and the ancient ruined city of Nan Madol on Pohnpei. The Asian Development
Bank has identified tourism as one of FSM's highest potential growth industries. Agriculture
is mainly subsistence farming. The principal crops are breadfruit, coconuts, bananas, betel
nuts, cassava, taro, and kava. Less than 10% of the formal labor force and less than 7% of
export revenue come from the agricultural sector. The nation uses the US dollar as their
One U.S.Dollar Note
$ or US$
1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢
$1, $5, $10, $20,
Federal Reserve Bank
Micronesia Food forms a prominent part of the culture of the island nation. The chief food
items of Micronesia include starchy carbohydrate based foods, meat and fruits. The starchy
carbohydrate foods of Micronesia comprises of breadfruit, taro, sweet potatoes, yams,
cassava, etc. Livestock tended locally, like pigs and chickens, form parts of important
feasts of Micronesia. The custom of sharing food, prevalent in Micronesia, symbolizes the
strong bonds existent between the people of the island nation.
Fish are also integral part of Micronesia Food. Micronesia, being an island nation, provides
the people with an ample quantity of fish to be utilized as one of the chief food items of
Micronesia. Shellfish and marine turtles are also eaten by the people of Micronesia.
SOCIAL LIFE AND RECREATION
There are good restaurants and a few cinemas in major island centers. Locals and visitors
alike enjoy making their own entertainment. Video rentals are a main form of entertainment
and a few well stocked DVD and video rental stores are located in Kolonia. Sakau drinking
is the most frequent evening activity on Pohnpei. Cultural dances can be arranged through
tourist offices or hotels. Most hotels have music, dancing and discos. Bars and restaurants
open untill 22.00hrs every night.
At the basic level, education is mandatory in Micronesia till the eighth standard. The
secondary education in the state is taken care of by the five schools in the country, almost
one for each island. Higher education in the state is taken care of by the College of
Micronesia which offers a number of degrees, certificates and vocational programs to the
students. Vocational training in the state is also offered by the Micronesian Occupational
College at Palau and the Pohnpei Agriculture and Trade School.
Health care facilities in the FSM consist of hospitals on each of the four major islands and a
few scattered clinics. Supplemental medical insurance with specific coverage for overseas
treatment and medical evacuation is useful.
¾ Main Airports:
9 Pohnpei (PNI) is 5km from Kolonia To/from the airport: Taxis are available.
9 Facilities: Car hire, light snacks and tourist information.
¾ Internal Travel: Getting Around By Air
Continental Air Micronesia flies between Pohnpei and the three other States and to
neighboring countries (three-times weekly to Hawaii and four-times weekly to Guam).
There are good roads in and around major island centers, although most roads remain
Bus: No scheduled service is availaible, although some buses may be available for hire
Taxi: Taxis are availaible throughout Micronesia and are inexpensive.
Car hire: Self-drive cars are available in major towns.
Documentation: National driving license or International Driving Permit required.
Main ports: The main ports are in Chuuk, Pohnpei and Yap. Inter-island trading ships
based in Pohnpei, Yap and Chuuk visit the outlying islands.
COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY
The FSM has over 8,400 subscribers with a telephone density of 8.02 telephone lines per
100 population. Mail service to and from the FSM is excellent. The United States Postal
Service picks up and delivers all mail to each of the states via air service, and the FSM is
part of the US Zip Code system. These codes are: Kosrae 96944, Pohnpei 96941, Chuuk
96942, and Yap 96943.
The international calling code for Micronesia is 691
Internet country code - .fm
Time Differences: +5.30hrs
PLACES OF INTEREST
The Spanish Wall and Catholic Bell Tower in Pohnpei, Japanese Wartime Communication
Center at Xavier High School in Chuuk and the ruins of INSARU in Kosrae. The Sokehs
Mass Grave holds the remains of 17 Pohnpeians who were executed by firing squad in
1911 for resisting the German administration. There are also small museums in Chuuk and
Kosrae. Pohnpei has magnificent waterfalls with pools that are ideal for bathing. Two of the
most beautiful falls are Kepirohi and Sahwartik.
Warm water and spectacular underwater scenery attract divers to these islands. Kosrae
has over 50 dive sites, each marked with a buoy to prevent improper anchoring. Unspoiled
coral reefs close to the shore make the island suitable for both walk-in and boat diving. In
neighboring Pohnpei State, recommended dive sites include the unspoiled Ant Atoll and
Pakin Atoll, both a short boat ride away from the main island. The state of Chuuk contains
the famous Truk Lagoon, where a whole Japanese fleet was sunk during World War II.
Make sure you have the proper health/immunization requirements.
Use of islands, paths, beaches etc may also require permission in many areas; it is best
to check beforehand
Permission should always be sought for Photography.
There are treacherous channel currents and rogue waves in parts of the islands. You
are therefore advised to wear the appropriate safety equipment and take local advice at
all times when engaging in adventure sports.
Carry as much currency in traveler’s cheques as possible.
Keep a copy of all documents and credit card information in a safe place.
Check all your travel documents to make sure that they are in order. Passports should
be valid for a few months after your return date.
Bring your address and telephone book. Make sure you have jotted down important
telephone numbers in case of emergency.
Check the weather conditions of your destination.
If any of your important travel documents such as passport are lost or stolen,
immediately notify the local police. For credit cards make sure you call the issuing bank
immediately so that they can stop the card from being used illegally.
VISA REQUIREMENTS & PROCEDURE:
U.S. Visa required
One Visa Application form duly filled in capital letters and signed as per the passport
Four Recent Colour Photograph's with white background (3cm x 3cm)
Covering Letter from Indian Company Stating Applicant's Name, Designation, Purpose &
Duration of Visit
Invitation from Federated States of Micronesia Stating Applicant's Name, Designation,
Purpose & Duration of Visit
Return Confirmed Air Ticket's for Stay Duration and Insurance
Foreign Exchange Duly Endorsed / Valid International Credit Card Copy
CONTACT ADDRESS -MICRONESIA
Team Leader: Dr.Vasantha Siriwardhena
PIA Consultants (Intercontinental Consultants & Technocrats, Pvt. Ltd.)
FSM Omnibus Infrastructure Development Project (OIDP)
Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure (DTCI)
Federated States of Micronesia,
Pohnpei State FM 96941