The states of Palau and the Palau Conservation Society (PCS) have had very successful partnerships over the years resulting in collaborations that serve to protect Palau’s rich environment through resource planning and other activities. The Governor’s Association Monthly Meeting on November 14 provided the best opportunity to share progress on these joint efforts.
Presiding over the meeting was Treasurer of the Association, Hon. Jersey Iyar – Governor of Ngatpang State. Also present were the governors of Aimeliik, Airai, Kayangel, Melekeok, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngaremlengui, Ngchesar, Ngiwal, Peleliu, and Sonsorol states. Also present at this meeting were Paramount Chief Reklai, Bao Ngirmang of Melekeok State and Maderngebuked, Thomas Remengesau, Sr. of Ngaraard State.
- PCS reported three on-going initiatives including: Palau’s Responsible Tourism Framework – Green Fins Initiative; Building climate resilience in the communities of Babeldaob focusing on watershed management; and No State Left Behind (natural resources management). The actions and strategies of these initiatives support the development goals for each state as well as achieve the following:
Palau Climate Change Policy Framework: Enhance adaptation and resilience (objective 1).
Agriculture Policy Framework: “A resilient, sustainable and food secure Palau.” (vision)
Palau’s Responsible Tourism Framework: Building local ownership of tourism.
Many of the governors expressed concern regarding the health of Palau’s coral reefs and the impact of tourists on our corals and marine life. All were excited to learn that Green Fins is an opportunity for the Bureau of Tourism and PCS to share diving and snorkeling best practices with tour operators as yet another means of protecting Palau’s precious marine habitats. Many governors were familiar with the USAID funded project entitled “Reviving Traditional Croplands to Improve Community Climate Resilience”. This is because outreaches and surveys on Climate Change and the importance of Mesei and Watersheds have already been done at six out of the 10 states of Babeldaob. Governor Iyar requested PCS to share with all states any and all SOPs and Best Management Practices produced from this project. For the No State Left Behind initiative, the state governors look forward to updating their resource management plans with the assistance of PCS.
To conclude the meeting with PCS, Gov. Iyar thanked PCS for the continued partnership and emphasized the fact that the Governors Association is committed to continuing the successful partnership with PCS in implementing activities at the community level.
“Reviving Traditional Croplands to Improve Community Climate Resilience” is made possible by the support of the American People, through the U.S. Agency for International Development. [/restrict]