Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) staff took the stage at the 7th Our Ocean Conference last week, participating as speakers, panelists, youth delegates and attendees.
Communications and Outreach Officer Masasinge Hideos, Research Assistant McQuinnley Mesengei and Researcher Elsei Tellei joined the conference as youth delegates.
As part of the youth delegation, they held discussions with world leaders, made a collective commitment to ocean conservation and had a personal meeting with Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.
“It was a pleasure to represent Palau with such talented young leaders and make sure our voice was heard as the next generation” said Hideos.
Researcher Ikelau Otto gave a talk on PICRC’s Protected Area Network monitoring program at a panel on marine protected areas alongside Dr. Richard Spinrad, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, PICRC’s Chief Executive Officer, also spoke during the “Nature Based Solutions – Austronesian Perspectives” panel and highlighted the importance of indigenous knowledge in conservation.
PICRC Science Officer / Researcher Dr. Louw Claassens served as the Conference’s Thematic Lead for sustainable fisheries. Palau National Marine Sanctuary Director King Sam, PICRC Research Director Geraldine Rengiil and Executive Coordinator Adeeshia I. Tellei attended the conference as well.
“This was a historic conference – the first one hosted by a small island nation” said Dr. Golbuu. “We’re very proud that our staff played a role in its success.”
Keobel Sakuma, Chairman of PICRC’s Board of Directors, also served as MC during the first day of the conference.