photo of rock islands (VOA Learning English)

“We made a conscious decision to have the improvements made in preparation for Our Ocean 2020 to be permanent improvements so that when the event is done, we can continue to benefit from those improvements,” expressed President Remengesau Jr. regarding the reported changes in the plans for the facility accommodations of Our Ocean Conference.

Director Brian Melairei of the national Public Works Division reported on Wednesday that Palau National Gym will now be the main venue for the Our Oceans 2020 and there’s ongoing work with Taiwan government to completely renovate the facility to handle up to 600 people.  According to Melairei, the venue will be air conditioned and will have a standby generator.

“We are also working with Palau Community College to renovate and improve their facilities such as the cafeteria, assembly hall and classrooms to accommodate side bar events for the conference,” added Melairei.

Additionally, the old OEK will be renovated and improved to be used as the Pacific Pavilion where all other Pacific Islands will use it to showcase their own oceans issues.

“After the Oceans Conference, with the gymnasium improvement, Palau will be in better position to host the Mini Pacific Games,” added President Remengesau in an interview.

Improvements to PCC as facility for side bar events are also permanent improvements meant to benefit PCC beyond the 2020 Oceans Conference.

All the funds and grants being received for the Our Oceans 2020 Conference is managed by UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) for Our Oceans 2020. (L.N. Reklai)