On Friday, July 7th, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) staff, board members and partners held a meeting with members of the Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) to highlight the success of the large investment they made in PICRC nearly twenty years ago.


“We are fortunate to be able to sit in this meeting and see the fruits of our labor being laid in front of us,” Senate Floor Leader Mariur shared during the meeting.” Palau International Coral Reef Act was introduced by the House of Delegates in the year 1998 and now we are able to see the works, the changes, and the impacts this Center has brought upon our country and the works of conservation that it continuously does.”

Present from the Senate Congress was Senate Floor Leader Kerai Mariur, Senator J. Uduch Sengebau Senior, and Senator Stevenson Kuartei.  From the House of Delegates was House Speaker Sabino Anastacio, House Vice Speaker Lucio Ngiraiwet, House Floor Leader Gibson Kanai, Delegate Mengkur Rechelulk, Delegate Noah Kemesong, Delegate Lee Otobed, Delegate Dilmai Saiske, Delegate Lentcer Basilius, Delegate Mario Gulibert, Delegate Vicky Ngiratkakl-Kanai, and Delegate Swenny Ongidobel.

The meeting provided an arena for policymakers to connect with researchers and discuss the most critical science concerning climate change and anthropogenic threats.  PICRC Chairman Mr. Noah Idechong, Chief Executive Officer Dr. Yimnang Golbuu and researcher Ms. Marine Gouezo provided OEK members with an overview of PICRC’s research and direction. Visiting researchers, Professor Robert H. Richmond, from the University of Hawaii, Dr. Robert B. Dunbar from Stanford University, Dr. Rodney V. Salm from The Nature Conservancy, Dr. Takashi Nakamura from the University of Ryukyus and Mr. Tadashi Kimura from the Japan Wildlife Research Center provided insight into conservation issues that are relevant not only to Palau but the world as a whole.

The presentations were received with enthusiasm by an audience eager to develop measures on how to move forward. The meeting concluded with the formulation of A Call to Action where PICRC and OEK members committed to the protection of Palau’s oceans for current and future generations.

“I’m certain that working together we can achieve the dream of forever defending one of our incredible wonders, Palau’s coral reefs,” House Speaker Sabino Anastacio expressed in his speech.

The Palau International Coral Reef Center Act was signed into law in 1998 to improve the management, use, and conservation of Palau’s marine environment. Increasing ocean temperatures, seafood demands, and numerous other human induced factors pose a threat to Palau’s marine ecosystems. It is crucial that the most current science reaches policy makers so that these research initiatives continue to  have a highly positive impact on marine conservation policy and management. [/restrict]