Caption: Newly certified divers with Jenn, PHS principal, and the dive instructors from Sam's Tours.

The FRIENDS of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary collaborated with the Ministry of Education to host the 9th Palau Pledge Dive Camp during the first fall intersession this September. The camp (September 17 – September 23, 2022) had thirteen (13) young Palauan’s students from Palau High School, ranging from 16-18 years old.

The Dive Camp is to excite Palau’s youth to re-engage and to do so in support of high value, high return tourism. The camp started with an online e-learning course, where the students learned the importance of being a safe diver before getting into the water.  During the week, dive masters at Sam’s Tours refined what the participants learned, including practicing in the water before the official two tank dives.  On the last day, the kids participated in a fun dive day at Ulong Channel and the sandbar dive spot, where they experienced their first open water dive and also learned about the importance of taking care of our ocean, what the work in the tour operation entails, and what they can do now to protect and care for Palau’s fragile marine environment.

The FRIENDS/Palau Pledge, alongside the Ministry of Education and Sam’s Tours, would like to thank all the sponsors who made this program available to the young participants. Our biggest thanks go out to the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Embassy of Australia, NCD grant, Globus, Bank of Guam, WCTC, Palau Central Hotel, NDBP, the Palau Shipping Company, and Bel-Pacific for making this opportunity possible. It is through their financial support the camp was provided free of charge to participants. We also extend our thanks to all of our guest speakers and lecturers who shared their invaluable knowledge and expertise, namely the CRRF, PCS, Ngatpang PAN, BOFI, PICRC, PCC-CRE, Marine Law, and the Aimeliik Eco-Tour. Last but not least, we thank the professional dive masters who helped the participants earn their Open Water diving certifications. The Dive Camp was a success because of their hard work and dedication to Palau’s young learners and newly-certified divers!

ABOUT THE PALAU PLEDGE – The Palau Pledge is a world-first initiative that requires all visitors to the country to make a commitment to protecting Palau’s natural environment and respect local traditions. The Palau Pledge asks guests to take responsibility for their actions and make a conscious effort to tread lightly – to have minimal impact and help conserve Palau (respecting the modern-day BUL) during their stay – so that they can enjoy the many marvels of Palau without taking away from them. The Pledge aims to conserve the country’s natural and cultural resources so citizens and guests can enjoy them for years to come.

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