Koror –On Tuesday 9, May, at a special event at Belau National Museum hosted by the First Lady of Palau, five schoolchildren helped President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr.to unveil a new exhibit dedicated to the Palau National Marine Sanctuary.
The new exhibit celebrates the creation of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) and the culture of Bul. It showcases the milestones of Palau’s conservation history, outlines what PNMS is, explains why it was created through a video compilation and highlights what it means for Palau’s future.
The multimedia space will serve as a canvas for new installations to be added to the exhibit as the PNMS develops and it will be regularly updated with ongoing news and footage of the Sanctuary.
The exhibit also houses the carefully preserved original Dui ra Bul by paramount Chiefs Reklai and Ibedul at the signing of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary act.
Visitors to the museum will now be able to enjoy the new immersive space, which was designed to reflect the beauty of the underwater ocean environment, while learning about the PNMS and Palau’s culture of conservation.
During the event, Demei Otobed, Chairman of the Museum Board said The PNMS exhibit is rightfully housed at our National Museum as it belongs to the Palauan people. Conservation, the very core of our Palauan heritage, reflects the National Museum’s motto: “A Cherchar A Lokelii” the Past determines the Present and the Future.
The exhibit represents partnership and continuous collaboration to keep the community and our guests informed of the contributions Palau has made with the Sanctuary. The exhibit ushers in a new era for the Museum: to continue to be a part of the Sanctuary outreach which is a cornerstone of their action planning. “This is the beginning of a great on-going collaboration” said Museum Director Morei.
The five children who opened the exhibit with the President were chosen for their participation in The Legacy Project children’s workshop where they were asked to write a letter to visitors explaining why Palau is so special and asking them to keep our paradise pristine. Out of the 30 children representing the states of Palau that attended the workshop, five letters were chosen to be featured at the event.
The children read their letters out in front of the invited guests which included government and
traditional leaders, members of the diplomatic corps and business leaders. In addition to the exhibit opening, event guests were given a sneak preview of The Legacy Project visitor marketing campaign – The Palau Pledge – which will be rolled out in late 2017.
An emotional three-minute video introducing the aim of The Legacy Project was screened which featured footage of Pristine Paradise Palau. The video explained why protecting our environment, culture and heritage is so important – not just for cultural or economic reasons, but for our children: who will one day inherit the Palau we leave for them.
The audience was inspired by the message of the video, which was voiced by Lolmei Ueki, a 12 year old student from Maris Stella School – guests were even moved to tears.
Following the screening, the President revealed the logo of The Palau Pledge campaign – reiterating that it will be a world-first, multilingual, behavioral change campaign that sends a clear message: protecting Palau is everyone’s job.
This campaign is the product of collaboration with all branches of government and importantly with children from throughout the island. PVA Vice-Chair Faustina K. Rehuher-Marugg and founding member of Friends of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Beouch Demei Obakrairur then spoke about the importance of the campaign in unifying Palauans and visitors to take action to protect and preserve our beautiful home for the next generation – to ensure they inherit the kind of pristine paradise their parents and grandparents received from their ancestors.
The event also served as a fundraising platform for the campaign and saw generous donations from many guests. The Legacy Project team continues to request for contributions to raise the money needed to fund this vital educational campaign. Contributions can be made to the Friends of PNMS a duly registered not-for-profit.
The Palau Pledge will be implemented by Palau Visitors’ Authority with support from the Ministry of Natural Resources Environment and Tourism, Palau Conservation Society, Palau Ministry of
Education, Palau Chamber of Commerce and Friends of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary.
The project team is also available on request to share the work with the community at large. [/restrict]