The Palau Protected Areas Network Fund (PAN Fund) and Palau Protected Areas Network Office (PAN) concluded the PAN Recognition Program for fiscal year 2018 with a Learning Exchange to the 2018 Scuba Show in Long Beach, CA June 23- 24, 2018.

This year’s recognition program was initiated with “Employee of the Year” program where PAN Members States (Governors and Coordinators) were given the opportunity to nominate their PAN employee of the year.

Thirteen PAN employees were formally recognized and honored for their excellent work during the PAN Appreciation Event held on May 24, 2018.

The second part of the recognition program was implemented shortly after with the objective of rewarding PAN Member States meeting certain reporting criteria and their level of efforts in becoming self-sufficient sites.

Four PAN member states namely Ngarchelong State, Melekeok State, Ngeremlengui State and Ngardmau State received the highest scores and were formally rewarded with an opportunity to showcase their PAN program in the 2018 Scuba Show, in partnership with the Palau Visitors Authority, Palau Marine Sanctuary and Heirs to Our Ocean.

Amongst the PAN member states participants were Paloma Swei representing Ngarchelong State, Loma-Linda Gabriel representing Melekeok State, Elicio Skebong representing Ngeremlengui State and Jennifer Kedals Ngiraiwet representing Ngardmau State.

PAN representatives had the chance to interact and mingle with both exhibitors, customers and other conservationist.  PAN representatives also participated in a seminar hosted by the Palau Visitor’s Authority and had the opportunity to showcase their individual State attraction to an audience of approximately 40 people. “It was an eye-opening experience that enabled us to market our conservation efforts” said the PAN member state participants.  Both PAN Fund and PAN Office hope to capitalize on these partnerships to support PAN member States in developing and implementing site-based sustainable financing plan to complement the PAN Sustainable Financing Plan. (PR)