Mechesil Belau is a traditional women’s organization that for 25 years, has been connecting female leaders to tackle issues including: tradition, culture, conservation, and environment. On September 19, 2018, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) CEO, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu presented at the 25th Mechesil Belau Conference to share PICRC’s involvement in addressing threats from climate change.

As a follow up to the Conference, PICRC, with help from Koror State Government, organized a trip for the women of Mechesil Belau and their off-island guests so that they could learn more about Palau’s unique environment and PICRC’s ongoing conservation efforts. PICRC staff accompanied the group of women to Ngermid Bay and Ngederrak Conservation Area. During the outing PICRC researchers shared the significance of these areas with Mechesil Belau and their guests and explained the research being conducted at these sites.

On October 23, 2018, Ms. Bilung Gloria Salii visited PICRC to thank the Center and its staff for their contribution during the Conference and for organizing the field trip. Bilung donated a model traditional fishing raft, “prer“, and a model traditional fishing trap, “bub”, as a token of her appreciation for the strong partnership between PICRC and Mechesil Belau. These traditional fishing tools symbolize conservation and tradition, two significant concepts of Palauan culture that are deeply intertwined.

Mechesil Belau is a network of strong female leaders that devote themselves to the preservation of Palauan culture. The group provides a platform for women to be heard and PICRC is honored to take part in supporting this amazing group of women. (PR)