Koror, Palau – The Seventh Oceania Regional Meeting of the Ramsar Convention was held on March 6 – 8 in Nadi, Fiji. The aim of the meeting was to bring together Contracting Parties of Oceania to review the progress of the national and regional implementation of the Ramsar Convention.

The Ramsar Convention, also known as the Convention on Wetlands, is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and was adopted in 1971. Palau became a Contracting Party (member state) in 2003 and has one site designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar site) – Lake Ngardok Nature Reserve in Melekeok.


The objectives of the meeting were to identify the Oceania region’s needs to effectively implement the Ramsar Convention and to investigate opportunities to promote cooperation on the conservation of coastal wetlands and blue carbon ecosystems. Also discussed were strategies to secure financial and technical support to address challenges and opportunities to promote the role of culture, traditional knowledge and practices in supporting livelihood and the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Meeting participants included representatives from Ramsar Contracting Parties of the Oceania region including: Republic of Palau (ROP), Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Samoa. Non-contracting parties present included: Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.

Palau was represented by Mr. Yalap P. Yalap of Palau Conservation Society through the nomination of Mr. Fred Sengebau, Director of Bureau of Agriculture and National Focal Point of the ROP to the Ramsar Convention.  Mr. Yalap is the Communications, Education, Participation and Awareness Focal Point for Ramsar in Palau.  Mr. Yalap gave a presentation on the aachievements, challenges and priorities of Ngardok Nature Reserve as well as introduced another potential Ramsar site in Palau. Media Contacts: Palau Conservation Society, yyalap@palauconservation.org, 488-3993. [/restrict]