Resolution Introduced To Establish Smart Growth Commission In Palau

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Senate wants growth, development on a national scale considered

By Jose Rodriguez T. Senase

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Feb. 17, 2015) – Three senators have introduced a resolution calling on the President to establish a commission to promote smart growth and development in the Republic.

Senate Resolution No. 9-153 was introduced by Senate President Camsek Chin, Senate Vice President Kathy Kesolei and Sen. Joel Toribiong on February 12, 2015.

The Resolution states that there are an increasing number of investors seeking to build hotels and other large commercial developments in Palau.

It says that Palau is a small country with limited infrastructure and resources, and that there are serious concerns about the ability of the roads, water, and sewer lines, electrical grid, and other vital infrastructures in many parts of the country to support large-scale development.

It was also pointed out in the Resolution that issues like environmental preservation and food security are crucial to Palau’s future and are often impacted by major commercial development.

The Resolution points out that there is currently no entity in Palau that considers growth and development on a nationwide scale.

In 1993 the Palau National Master Plan Task Force released the Palau 2020: National Master Development Plan Progress report with goals for development to be met over the ensuing decades.

The Resolution says the goals detailed in the Palau 2020 report remain unmet in many respects.

"Be it resolved by the Senate of the Ninth Olbiil Era Kelulau, that the Senate calls upon his Excellency Tommy Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau, to create a commission to consider planning and development from a national perspective; work closely with state-level planning commissions; evaluate the ability of the various parts of the country to adequately support major commercial developments; consider the potential impact such development would have on local infrastructure, agriculture, and the environment; make recommendations about what areas should be opened for development, what areas should be protected from development, and what should be done to encourage smart growth and development in Palau," the Resolution concludes.

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