Coastal and marine ecosystems across the globe are becoming devastated by numerous factors such as land-based pollution, tourism, unsustainable fishing practices and climate change. As a result, some countries have implemented conservation initiatives to combat these threats. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) began a three-year training program, “Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Conservation through Collaborative Management of Marine Protected Areas” to share knowledge and experiences on coastal ecosystem conservation to develop human resources for the sustainability of marine ecosystems.


The course was held for eight marine and conservation government officers from five nations (Fiji, Kiribati, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands) to deepen their understanding of effective management of Marine Protected Areas. Through lectures, field work, and group discussions the participants have developed their own action plans to solve their local issues on coastal and marine ecosystem conservation.

The training was organized by Japan Wildlife Research Center (JWRC) and began on November 13th. For the first three weeks the course was held at the JICA Okinawa Center where participants were provided information on national and international policy of environmental conservation, coral restoration and local management practices.

Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) hosted the course from December 4th to the 22nd to highlight experiences on the Protected Areas Network (PAN) system, fisheries management for northern reefs, networking and partnerships, national consortium of conservation and watershed/sustainable land management. During the course, various experts from Palau presented on local conservation efforts and how their agencies works towards conserving Palau’s resources.

According to program leader, Mr. Tadashi Kimura, Palau has contributed to the success of this course through its rich conservation traditions and expertise. According to Mr. Kimura, the PAN, is a pioneering conservation tool that should be shared and adapted by other countries.   [/restrict]