Photo from Palau Pledge website.

Over $350,000 dollars in entry fees for 2018 Sustainable Development Goals Lions festival was awarded to Palau Pledge Legacy Team and Friends of Palau Marine Sanctuary, by the festival organizers, a follow through of their own pledge to donate all the winning entry fees to winners of top honors of the UN/Cannes Lions Festival.

Palau Pledge, created by Host/Havas of Sydney, won seven Lions at the Cannes Lions festival last year including three Grand Prix.  The festival recognized marketing projects that promote and support United Nations 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals.

The funds will be used to grow the project, to expand it locally and globally, says Laura Clarke, a Palau Pledge Legacy founder.  Right now it will launch the new phase of the Palau Pledge including a business accreditation program, a pledge-focused STEM curriculum for school and a program aimed at scaling out the project, helping the idea of the Pledge take root in other countries.

The business accreditation program’s goal is “to have businesses aspire to be part of the Palau Pledge initiative by taking proactive steps to operate their businesses in the spirit of the pledge itself.  Business leaders on Palau have already begun to take advantage of the Pledge in their promotional activities. We aim to now provide a toolkit to help those who may be less adept to gain market advantage by living up to the Pledge by taking certain proactive steps (e.g. – adopting and using green fins, no single use plastic, supporting artisanal fisherman rather than commercial fishing etc),” expressed Jennifer Koskelin-Gibbons, one of the Palau Pledge Legacy founders.

Palau Pledge, an idea to invite visitors to Palau to take a pledge, to enjoy Palau during their visit but taking care to leave it better for the next generation, has gained not only international recognition and awards but have also generate movement around the world to employ similar ideas to manage their natural resources.

Recently Hawaii and New Zealand have introduced similar pledge ideas. “Part of our continuing work on Phase Two concerns promoting the Pledge program internationally (this is something we have been doing naturally via our work) to help further the aims of the SDG Goals that Pledge contributes toward. This is what the UN and Cannes envisaged of the winning idea and as the winners of the inaugural award, we can now be the first to help put this into practice,” stated Laura Clarke.

“We are enormously grateful to the Cannes Board for awarding us the prize funds and we are confident that as with the launch of the Palau Pledge program, we can add value to the Pledge initiatives in Palau and help turn it into a movement worldwide,” she added.