The Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) Advisory Committee met earlier this week to officially formalize and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) as a subcommittee for the National Environmental Protection Council (NEPC). Representatives from Government entities, Non-Government Organizations and private partners are voluntary members to the committee. “This committee will be a unique, inclusive space for people of many backgrounds to directly participate in our work with the PNMS,” said King Sam, PNMS Director. “Our members bring decades of experience in both government and private business, and will help to ensure different and diverse views are considered in the management of PNMS.” The advisory committee formalized their partnership with a memorandum of understanding, which provides a framework for collaboration between the Sanctuary’s public and private partners.

Vice President Uduch Sengebau Senior, as Minister of Justice, joined the meeting to express her ongoing support for the PNMS and the PNMS Advisory Committee goal to be inclusive and to engage different stakeholders in the management of PNMS. “I thank all members of the PNMS Advisory Committee for serving voluntarily and giving their time and talent because they support environmental conservation, preservation of culture and sustainable livelihoods of the people of Palau and because of our Klechibelau.”

The committee’s current members include the Belau Offshore Fishers Incorporated, Bureau of Budget & Planning, Ebiil Society, Palau Visitors Authority, Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish & Wildlife Protection, Protected Areas Network Fund, Friends of the PNMS, Coral Reef Research Foundation, Palau Conservation Society, Palau Chamber of Commerce, Palau Community College Cooperative Research & Extension, Palau Media Council, National Environmental Protection Council, representation from a sports fisher/entrepreneur and Northern Reef Fisheries Cooperative.  PICRC will serve as the secretariat to the advisory committee. The committee is co-chaired by Ms. Ann Singeo, Director of Ebiil Society, and Mr. Casmir Remengesau, Director of Bureau of Budget and Planning. Further information can be obtained by calling the Palau International Coral Reef Center at 488-6950.

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