The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) was proud to support Palau’s traditional leadership last week during the first ever Rubekul Belau Forum.

The Forum, titled “Resilient Palau”, explored how the Rubekul Belau can support Palau’s communities, environment and economy. Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, the Center’s CEO, joined the program to give a presentation on the state of Palau’s marine life.

“Issues like overfishing of our reef fish and the sedimentation of our coral reefs have impacted our environment for many years” said Dr. Golbuu. “But recent conservation efforts like the protected areas network and reef fish export ban are starting to make positive changes.”

Asap Bukurrou, Palau Aquarium supervisor and a traditional leader of Ngiwal, also gave a presentation on research efforts in the Palau National Marine Sanctuary. He shared ongoing studies of tuna spawning and fish biodiversity in the Sanctuary, as well as new footage of Palau’s deep-sea marine life.

“The Palau National Marine Sanctuary holds hundreds of different species, some of which are very threatened” said Bukurrou. “And there are many more waiting to be discovered, especially in the Sanctuary’s deep waters.”

The Center is mandated under its founding law to provide information and technical support to the the Rubekul Belau.  “Working with traditional leaders is one of the Center’s most important duties” continued Dr. Golbuu. “It was an honor to be invited to join the forum last week and we will continue to support the Rubekul Belau however we can.”

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