By: L.N. Reklai

December 14, 2016 (Airai) Minister Charles Obichang of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce received segregated trash bins donated to Palau International Airport by a non-profit association of Japan, the Palau EPIA (Eco Premium Island Association), at the Palau International Airport yesterday.


The turnover was witnessed by Governor Tmeuang of Airai State, Senate Vice President Rukebai Inabo, Senate Floor Leader Arnold Oilouch , Delegate Lee Otobed as well as Director Ngirai Tmetuchl of Palau Visitors Authority and others.

“I am thankful that this association chose the airport to showcase their first project.  This program promotes the idea that taking care of our trash, is not only good for our environment, our environment but also good for our economy,” stated Minister Obichang in his remarks.

“The message that I most want to get out is that this association, which is associated with Sheraton hotel project, is already working with us to promote healthy environment, even before they started construction of the new Sheraton,” added Obichang.

President Hiroshi Okagawa of the Palau EPIA stated that he came to Palau in 2005 and fell in love with its beauty.  He then brought students from University of Tokyo to Palau to conduct research on sustainable eco-tourism in Palau.  The research focused on balance development, How to grow the economy and preserve the environment at the same time. The students won an award from the Japan government for their research.

“We started this association in 2007.  There are many eco-friendly countries in the world but we want Palau to remain a premium eco-friendly country in the world,” said Okagawa in his message.

“According to information from Koror State Solid Waste Management, Palau recycles almost 80% of its waste.  That’s very high and we want to support and maintain this effort,” he added.

The segregated trash bins will be placed at the airport but there are plans to expand to other areas. [/restrict]