Map credit: SPC

Northern Mariana Islands

CNMI participates in the Micronesian Games, the Pacific Games and the Mini Pacific Games at regional level.

It holds the distinction of hosting three editions of the Micronesian Games; the inaugural in 1969, the revival of the Games - the second edition in 1990, and the third in 2006.

For background to this enormous feat, it is important to view its national context. The CNMI (Northern Marianas) established itself as a commonwealth in union with the US in 1976. It was previously under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific and chose closer links with the US instead of independence.

CNMI comprises 14 coral and volcanic islands with a total land area of 464 sq. km. More than 90% of its population live on the island of Saipan.

Its industries include tourism, banking, construction, fishing and handicrafts (cultural industries). It exports garments and imports food, construction equipment and petroleum products. A small agriculture sector produces vegetables, fruit (predominantly melons), nuts, ornamental plants, livestock, poultry, eggs, fish and aquaculture products.

The country’s chief economic lifelines are tourism and US federal funding. Its tourists are largely from China, South Korea and Japan.

Challenges for the country include waste management, protection of endangered species, volcanism (active volcanoes on the islands of Pagan and Agrihan) and typhoons.

The country faces similar challenges as other Pacific Small Island Developing States (Pacific SIDS) in terms of prioritisation of sport in national budgeting but benefits from its relationship with the US which provides opportunity and support in the area.

The Northern Marianas sporting community is a pillar of the Micronesian Games and its contributions a testament to the strength of its people.

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