Palau, June 13, 2023 – The 1st Joint Committee Coordination (JCC) meeting for the Project for Establishing an Eco-Friendly Transportation System was successfully held, bringing together key stakeholders from Palau and Japan. The meeting aimed to discuss and plan the implementation of a route bus service to address transportation challenges and promote sustainable mobility in Palau.

Representatives from Palau’s Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism and Development (MHRCTD), Ministry of Education (MOE), Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) and Palau Chamber of Commerce (PCOC) joined officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan (MLIT), JICA Headquarters, JICA Palau Office, and JICA Expert Team at the meeting.

Minister Ngiraibelas Tmetuchl of MHRCTD highlighted the transportation issues faced by Palauans without cars, emphasizing the importance of using buses for public transport. He expressed the government’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint and encouraged the use of public transport. Minister Tmetuchl stressed the significance of collaboration between Palau and Japan for the success of the project.

Chief Representative KOBAYASHI Ryutaro of JICA Palau Office expressed Japan’s willingness to support the project, emphasizing that Japan’s involvement goes beyond being a service provider. He highlighted the eco-friendly nature of the new bus service, its economic benefits, and its importance for low-mobility individuals. Effective public relations activities were stressed to promote the advantages of using buses and encourage a shift from private cars. Director INABA Kazutaka of MLIT mentioned the preliminary study conducted to gather data on transportation issues and public transport needs in Palau, expressing hope that the project would enhance the quality of life in Palau through Japanese expertise and technology.

During the discussion, Minister Tmetuchl committed to assigning Palau government staffs to work together with JICA Experts on the project and to conduct effective public relations to raise awareness of the importance of eco-friendly sustainable transportation. The formulation of an eco-friendly transportation master plan was also emphasized, with Minister Tmetuchl committing to support and coordinate with relevant stakeholders to ensure alignment and understanding.

In his closing remarks, Minister Tmetuchl expressed gratitude for the support from Japan and the JICA Expert Team, reaffirming their commitment to the project’s objectives of environmental preservation, economic growth, and improved mobility. The signing of the meeting minutes symbolized the commitment of both Palau and Japan to the successful implementation of the eco-friendly transportation system.

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