RMI Seeks Advice From Palau On Conservation Issues

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President Remengesau shares experience with protected area network

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, June 6, 2013) – The Republic of Marshall Islands solicited the advice of President Remengesau as they develop legal framework for their own protected areas network act.

Remengesau went to RMI last week, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, to give advice. With him were Chief of Staff and Finance Min. Elbuchel Sadang, Press Secretary Keobel Sakuma, Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism Min. Umiich Sengebau, Reklai Raphael Ngirmang and TNC staff.

Palau’s PAN Act, which initiated in 2003, was recognized by the World Future Council in September last year.

Palau was announced as the winner of the Future Policy Award 2012 and received Gold Award in recognition of PAN Act and the Shark Haven Act from 2009.

According to the World Future Council, the PAN Act has all the elements of successful management for people and environment.

"The framework incorporates a network of nationally representative protected areas, ensuring long-term sustainable use of resources, and has the institutional flexibility to adapt to future changes. Following the concern of the weakening traditional system of protection, the government implemented a countrywide system of connected protected areas including fringing reefs, lagoons, a sardine sanctuary and mangroves. Local communities and states manage these in the traditional fashion, but with added financial, technical and institutional support from the government. More than 30 protected areas have been designated, with a goal of protecting 30 percent of the near-shore marine environment and 20 percent of the terrestrial environment by 2020," the council said.

Also in RMI, the president discussed with the leaders there the upcoming Pacific Islands Leaders Forum slated in August.

From RMI, Remengesau proceeded to Hawaii and spoke with the Hawaiian Legislature, conservation groups and other local leaders about sharing information and collaboration of conservation efforts.

The president also joined Palauans in Hawaii for the celebration of President’s Day on June 1. He came back to Palau Wednesday night.

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