(Press release) The Honorable Francesca R. Otong, Governor of Ngatpang State and Mr. Elia Yobech, Chairman of the Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to mark the beginning of close collaborations between the two agencies on October 14.
Both parties “agreed that improved and enhanced collaboration to protect the environment and natural resources is crucial in ensuring sustainable development for present and future generations.” The MOU is a demonstration of both parties’ commitment to protect and sustainably manage Ngatpang State’s environment and natural resources. The MOU is a result of discussions between the leadership of Ngatpang State and EQPB board and managers in a meeting on July 28, 2020. At this initial meeting, many concerns were shared about development in Ngatpang state and the leadership’s willingness to explore solutions that will result in sustainable development to promote economic and social wellbeing for community members.
At the conclusion of the July meeting, it was agreed that EQPB will draft an MOU to incorporate all of the concerns discussed for the review of Gov. Otong and Speaker Siles Ngiraremiang.
A draft MOU was forwarded to Gov. Otong and Speaker Ngiraremiang for review and comments. According to Speaker Ngiraremiang, the MOU was sent to the legal counsel of Ngatpang State Legislature for review and advice. After review, the legal counsel informed the Speaker that the MOU provides a good foundation for partnership with EQPB to ensure sustainable development can take place in Ngatpang State. In full support of this MOU, the Fourth Ngatpang State Legislature signed NSL Resolution No. 4-20-60 on October 13, 2020.
According to Gov. Otong, this MOU is the beginning of a productive and beneficial partnership between EQPB and Ngatpang state as it sets forth responsibilities both parties will undertake in collaboration with regards to developing best environmental practices. Under the MOU, EQPB agrees to provide guidance and/or feedback on any state legislation that focus on environmental protection and sustainable development; conduct inspections to identify sources of sediments and run-offs in order to determine preventive measures; keep the state informed on environmental initiative projects the state may be eligible for; provide guidance on the scope of work for consultants to conduct environmental assessments or other related studies for the state, among others.
Ms. Roxanne Siual Blesam – CEO of EQPB, said this MOU is the first of 16 as EQPB looks forward to meeting with and discussing environmental concerns with the remaining 15 states. In these times of climate change, sustainable development is key to building climate resilience. Through the MOU, all states can have access to EQPB’s program areas and technical expertise to assist with resource management to ensure all of Palau’s 16 states can develop sustainably. For more information on environmental practice and activities that safeguard our environment, call EQPB at 488-1639/3600.
Present at the signing ceremony was Gov. Otong, Speaker Siles Ngiraremiang and the members of Ngatpang State Legislature, members of the Ngatpang State Planning Commission along with EQPB board members and managers.

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