Wednesday, March 1st, marked the start of the Green Fins Palau Workshop at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). In collaboration with Palau Conservation Society (PCS) Palau Coral Reef Island Ecosystem Project (PC-oRIE), and Japan Wildlife Research Center (JWRC), this workshop brings together government agencies, NGOs, business operators, the Bureau of Tourism and the Palau Visitors Association (PVA) to focus on the threats facing our marine environment from the tourism industry.
With a rapidly increasing tourism industry it is essential that dive centers in Palau are enforcing responsible dive and snorkel practices. This workshop will be used as a platform for these groups to address issues and challenges presented by tourism and allow them the opportunity to work together to form solutions. The aim of this workshop is to combine environmental assessments, environmental laws and environmental education to inspire positive change. As such, collaboration is vital to success.
In opening the workshop, the Minister of Natural Resources Environment Tourism, Umiich Sengebau, stated “We are all here because we share a common goal; to diminish destructive impacts on our marine ecosystems and ensure that Palau continues to maintain it natural beauty for our visitors to enjoy. It is critical for all of us, national and state government, NGOs and private sector, to be at the table, working together to achieve this goal.”
In this three day workshop Green Fins will share valuable knowledge on how to apply their approach, of sustainable tourism, to the different dive centers of Palau to promote an environmentally friendly industry. Tourism is Palau’s number one industry and maintaining healthy reefs is critical to sustaining the industry. [/restrict]