First disbursement of the $1 million pledge

By: L.N. Reklai

December 14, 2016 (Koror, Palau) Republic of China became the first contributor to the Palau National Marine Sanctuary endowment fund by disbursing 25% of the pledged $1 million to the PNMS Board on Wednesday.


Present to receive the $250,000 dollar check was the Executive Director of the PNMS Keobel Sakuma, Minister of State Billy Kuartei, Minister of Natural Resource, Environment & Tourism Umiich Sengebau, Fisheries Advisor and former Speaker of the House Noah Idechong, Dr. Golbuu of PICRC and Joe Reklai of Fisherman’s Association, and Chief Uherbelau who represents the Council of Chiefs.  These present are members of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Board.

With the goal of $10 million, this first disbursement will jump start the fundraising for the endowment. “I am very pleased that we are finally able to implement our pledge to this very worthy project.  This is in line with the objectives of the Republic of China’s government which is the management of our ocean resources for future sustainability,” stated Ambassador Michael Tseng of the Republic of China to Palau.

“We will be disbursing the remainder of the $1 million dollar pledge in three increments.  In the meantime, we will continue to cooperate in other areas of mutual interests,” added His Excellency Tseng.

“Your government has been helping us in the fisheries component with IUU issues.  I would like to also thank the Republic of China for assisting us with of electronic monitoring of the boats which greatly improves the fisheries management,” responded Minister Umiich Sengebau of MNRET.

“We are in the process of finalizing the strategic plan for PNMS 2020 and looking at the implementation of the Environmental Impact Fee.  We are meeting regularly to ensure seamless implementation with various agencies,” reported PNMS EO Keobel Sakuma on current status of PNMS implementation.

“The Palau National Marine Sanctuary has many components such as Surveillance and Enforcement, Science & Research, Development of Domestic Fishery, Sustainable Financing, Tourism & Marketing, Community Outreach and Education and Administration. Funds we receive such as this are usually for specific component.  This funding for endowment fund is a long-term funding plan which falls under Sustainable Financing.  Others such as grant from Ocean 5 have very specific objectives and goes to the Surveillance and Enforcement,” explained Sakuma.

According to PNMS Executive Director Keobel Sakuma, these are all happening at the same time and they are very happy to get this component started. The endowment fund component is similar to PAN funds structure and such with long term sustainable funding as primary objective. [/restrict]