By: L.N. Reklai
October 25, 2016 (Koror) Palau received approval of $3.7 million dollar grant from United Nation’s Global Environmental Fund under GEF V.
“This is the first nationwide GEF project to be launched and implemented in Palau and it will help us improve the PAN activity and build capacity. The process began in 2013 and it took a long time but it is now here,” stated Minister Umiich Sengebau during the launching of the project on October 25th, 2016 at Palasia Hotel.
“I am very excited about this especially the aspect of it on sustainable land management. Through this, we can bring in an environmental planner that can help the State governments with their application to EQPB as well as assist with sustainable land management plans. I would like to thank the government agencies and the State governments for agreeing to co-finance the project, especially the State governments who are the resource owners,” emphasized Minister Sengebau.
Palau had participated in the past GEF funding cycles but had always applied as part of larger regional program. Under GEF 4, Palau applied for funds under regional umbrella to create endowment fund for the Micronesia challenge, according to Minister Sengebau.
The project will support the two linked national efforts, Protected Areas Network (PAN) and Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Initiative. These two national programs are aimed at protecting biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources.
The three main components of the project are 1) Strengthening the PAN by filling key planning and information gaps, 2) Providing momentum to SLM by implementing its top two priorities of establishing a coordinating body and developing best practices guidelines and 3) Developing formal mechanisms to coordinate PAN and SLM and incorporate cross-sector issues into development and conservation activities.
The duration of this project is 48 months and will be coordinated by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism.
United National Global Environmental Fund is the financial mechanism implementing five United Nations Environmental Conventions, and is currently the world’s largest funder of public projects. Its mission is “to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable initiatives.” [/restrict]