December 10, 2020 collaboration between Melekeok Conservation Network – Melekeok PAN, Ongedechuul Systems of Conservation Areas – Ngardmau PAN, Ngeremlengui Protected Areas – Ngeremlengui PAN, and Ngchesar State Protected Areas – Ngchesar PAN joined forces to help remove and control the cheuais (hanguana malayana) from covering the center of Lake Ngardok. The PAN States and the network worked effortlessly to remove a big chunk of cheuais to ensure the natural flow of the water is restored. Field expedient tools and methods were efficient, and 26 personnel from the PAN states contributed to the effectiveness of the project. About 30 percent of the cheuais was removed to allow the natural flow of the lake. Melekeok Conservation Network (MCN) staff are assigned to monitor the trends and status of the water resources within Ngardok Nature Reserve. The encroachment of the “cheuais” had some effects in the monitoring activities.
Ngardok Nature Reserve and the highly recognized Lake Ngardok in Melekeok State is the largest freshwater body in Micronesia, and is an internationally recognized Ramsar wetland site of international importance. Lake Ngardok is a small, natural, freshwater lake on Babeldaob island with some swamp vegetation and is the largest permanent freshwater body in Palau and the largest natural freshwater lake in the bioregional context. The lake is particularly important to the small population of Melekeok State for control of floods and maintenance of water quality. It is the only important source of water supply for Melekeok State and the National Capitol of Palau. The site is strictly utilized for educational awareness and scientific research and there are no other forms of land use in the surrounding areas, all being part of the Reserve. Protecting and preserving Lake Ngardok allows it to continue to provide quality and quantity water to residents of Palau.
Melekeok State Government, Melekeok Nature Reserve Board, and Melekeok Conservation Network would like to acknowledge and thank Ngardmau State, Ngeremlengui State, and Ngchesar State and their PAN programs for their support in completing this phase of the project.