Palau Government Declares 13 Separate Protected Areas

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Three other sites’ nominations still under review

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, June 13, 2013) – A total of 13 sites from 13 states have been officially declared protected areas by Palau’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism.

According to the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Office, the declared protected areas from 13 states are as follows: Ngardok Lake Reserve in Melekeok (May 2007); Ebiil Channel in Ngarchelong (June 2008); Oseleksol in Ngiwal (September 2008); Mesekelat Waterfalls in Ngchesar State (October 2008); Helen Reef in Hatohobei (January 2010); Ongedechuul System of Conservation Areas (June 2010); Ngerderar Watershed Reserve in Aimeliik (August 2011); Kerradel Conservation Network in Ngaraard (September 2011); Ngeruangel Marine Reserve in Kayangel (November 2011); Medal Ngediull Conservation Area in Airai (February 2013); Ngerukeuid and Ngerumekaol in Koror’s Southern Lagoon (February 2013); Teluleu Conservation Area in Peleliu (May 2013); and Ngermeskang Bird Sanctuary in Ngaremlengui (May 2013).

Nominated sites in Angaur, Sonsorol and Ngatpang for declaration as protected areas are still being looked into.

PAN Office Manager King Sam said that the application for the declaration of Angaur Conservation Area is being reviewed for completion, Ngatpang is still working on the management plan for Ngatpang Conservation Area while Sonsorol’s application for the declaration of Fanna: Important Bird Area is on hold because a private property is located in the site.

PAN sites with approved management plans are funded through Green Fee of $30 per head paid by departing visitors to Palau.

The law implementing the collection of fees went into effect in 2010 and since then has been growing each year with the corresponding number of visitors to Palau.

The 13 protected areas also contribute to Palau’s share of the Micronesia Challenge’s goal of conserving 30% of near shore coastal waters and 20% of forest land by 2020.

The PAN Office is providing assistance monitoring the conservation sites based on the state’s management plan. The PAN office facilitates support services to the state so they can achieve goals in the implementation of the management plan.

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