On September 21, 2016, the Palau Coral Reef and Island Ecosystem (P-CoRIE) project held its fourth Research Seminar and Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC4) meeting at the Kedarm conference room at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). The P-CoRIE project is a five year collaborative project among PICRC, Palau Community College (PCC), and University of Ryukyus (UoR) that began in 2013 and will close in 2017. The focus of the P-CoRIE project is on the interdisciplinary research work that will help Palau understand and quantify the impacts of climate change.


This fourth Research Seminar was different from the previous seminars in that this time around, it was open for the public to come and attend and listen to the research projects and activities that the P-CoRIE project has yielded thus far. This seminar marks the last leg of the project so all the more critical it is to make sure the goals and outputs of the plan are accomplished before the project closes. In addition, it is important to communicate the progress of the project so that efforts can be made to ensure that the goals are met before the end of the plan.

PICRC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Yimnang Golbuu opened the Research Seminar. In his remarks, Dr. Golbuu stressed the need for communicating the research work to communities, partners, and agencies, both private and government. He further went on to say that this information could potentially help the stakeholders in their respective work and enable the push towards implementing policies. The Center’s work must contribute to conservation and management efforts of Palau’s marine and related natural environment and this seminar helps bring stakeholders together to hear the information and act on it, thus contributing to said efforts.

Opening remarks were followed by Dr. Takashi Nakamura who gave overall perspectives and responses to the recommendations given during the mid-term evaluation held last year. This was followed by about 13 presentations, all of which expanded on the various research included in the P-CoRIE project.  All the projects and research presented was based on the developing conditions today such as increased tourism, pollution, and overfishing using biological and social research.

Based on the fourth Research Seminar, it was clear that much has been accomplished towards the goals of the project. However, there is much that can still be done. For the last leg of this project, the P-CoRIE project will focus on completing the research and putting the results together. The results will then be provided to the government of Palau to help with the decision making in conservation and management efforts in Palau.

Members of JCC include Protected Areas Network (PAN) Office, PAN Fund, Koror State Department of Conservation and Law Enforcement, Office of Environmental Response and Coordination (OERC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Palau Conservation Society (PCS), Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB), National Emergency Management Office (NEMO), Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR), National Weather Service, Bureau of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Palau Visitors Authority (PVA), Bureau of Tourism, Palau Automated Land and Resources Information System (PALARIS), JICA Palau Office and JICA Experts.

P-CoRIE is support by two Japanese government agencies, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which falls under the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS), which promotes international joint research targeting global issues.  Its core component is collaboration with other countries stemming from the basic fact that global challenges cannot be met by a single country or region acting on its own. [/restrict]