Palau-made products are expanding and growing every year, as seen at the Friendly Local Product Showcase event held at Chamayong Cultural Center last Sunday, December 4th.
“It is exciting to see this growing every year. We are seeing more and more locally made products at this event each year,” said Sam Scott, President of the Palau Chamber of Commerce, one of the hosting organizations of the showcase.
The local product showcase featured everything from food, to artworks of different kinds, to cultural products, pieces of jewelry, new and novel items created with items sourced locally, and products made locally from imported materials.
One unique characteristic of all the products showcased is that they all meet the four biodiversity-friendly criteria; (1) avoid use or harm to any of Palau’s protected or endangered species (including globally-endangered species), (3) avoid harm to habitats and ecosystems, (3) celebrate Palau’s endemic and unique species, habitats, and ecosystem and (4), celebrate cultural traditions and sustainable environmental practices.
“Most of the products I make using mengchongch (areca/betel nut sheath),” explained Imelda Adelbai, a talented weaver who makes everything from funeral wreaths, to decorative vases, to different kinds of baskets, coasters, and many more using mengchongch.
Another talented producer, Francesca Morei-Misch, has repurposed rice bags into reusable bags for all occasions, helping reduce waste and re-purposing the durable material to meet other needs.
Wilbur “Olu” Williams, a talented artist using acrylic paints, is bringing Palauan legends to life in a bright, lively medium. The artwork is smaller and lighter than a typical storyboard but still showcases Palau’s legends beautifully.
This was the 2nd Biodiversity Local Product Showcase held and sponsored by Belau National Museum, Palau Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Development Center, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Environment, GEF6, and Palau Visitors Authority.