The Protected Areas Network (PAN)Fund awarded twelve PAN state employees in a Marine Ecological Monitoring Training Course through the Palau Community College( PCC) Continuing Education(CE) Program. Two Researchers, Ms. Ikelau Otto and Ms. Lincy Marino, from the Palau International Coral Reef Center(PICRC),conducted the training that spanned the course of two weeks (60hrs).

Participants of the training scholarship included PAN rangers Abimelech Etipson from Aimeliik State, Eric Mongami, Abdul M.Omengkar, Lebilau Sebalt,and Sorcha Basiliusfrom Melekeok State, Marino Kloulubak, Arbeen B.Towai, Ignacio Ngiraiwet, and Norden Louis from Ngardmau State, Mohammed Baules, MarleneI. James, and Ulia Dean from Ngiwal State.

The60-hour training course covered a range of topics in the classroom and in the field that included (1) review of PAN and marine protected areas (MPAs),(2) strengthening value and understanding the purpose of ecological monitoring of protected areas,(3)developing sampling designs to monitor a state’s MPA,(4) learning about ecological indicators to measure the effectiveness of MPAs through the ecological surveys, and finally (5) understanding the process of data management.

The field portion of the course allowed the participants learn more in depth about marine habitats and species in Ngardmau, Melekeok, and Ngiwal. As a result of the course, the participants created a reporting template for ecological monitoring.

To close the course, participants had the opportunity to share their learning in front of an audience that included PAN state managers, PAN Office and PAN Fund.

Through the presentations, participants showed extensive knowledge and understanding of survey tools and methods required to effectively monitor their MPAs. Finally ,a Certification Ceremony was held where Governors of the respective participants ,PAN State Coordinators, PAN Office and PAN Fund joined in support.

In response to the training course, PAN Fund Board Chairman Mr. Kevin Chin encourages the participants to share their learning with more PAN employees who were unable to join and looks forward to hearing more about states participating in this course a she was quite impressed with the level of knowledge and understanding demonstrated during participant presentations. PAN

Would also like to acknowledge and thank PCCCE office for their valuable contribution and support.

This opportunity was made possible through the PAN Capacity Building Scholarship Training Component which is aimed at supporting PAN employees supplement the cost of their attendance to related capacity building or professional development training. Through this Training Scholarship, twelve more PAN state employees have raised their capacities and added value to the effective management of their PAN sites as well as the entire Network of protected areas.

For more information on eligibility and specific requirements, please visit the PAN Fund office (located at the Tommy E. Remengesau Bldg.on M-Dock road) or visit the website at www.palaupanfund.organdaccess the Capacity Building Scholarship Program Application Packages. (PR)