GERMANS TO ASSESS MINING DAMAGE IN PALAU

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4 million tons of phosphate shipped out a century ago

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Oct. 11, 2010) – Office of the President’s Press Secretary Fermin Meriang yesterday disclosed that the German Government will be sending a team to Palau to assess the environmental damage in Angaur that resulted from the extensive German mining operations in early 1900s.

[PIR editor’s note: Angaur is an Island state of Palau popular for its surf spot. Located southwest of Peleliu, it has an area of 8 square kilometers and an estimated population of 200 people. Angaur was one of the major sites during WWII and is the only Island in the Micronesian region that has feral monkeys, released during the German occupation. Angaur is only accessible by boats and small planes.]

The commitment from the German Government came through Palau Ambassador to Germany and the European Union Carlos Salii’s meeting with the German Ambassador to the United Nations in New York on Oct. 8.

Meriang said that the sending of team here to assess Angaur situation is the first step in the rehabilitation efforts for the state.

Earlier reports showed the mining operations in Angaur depleted most of the state’s phosphate and rich top soil. More than four million metric tons of phosphate was reportedly shipped out of Angaur at the time of the mining operations.

Meriang said that since 1995, Angaur leaders have sought to engage the German government about the situation in their state but have been repeatedly rebuffed.

Meriang said there is no specific date yet as to when the team is arriving but they will be here this year.

Island Times © 2010 Island Times. All rights reserved

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