On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) Strategic Planning Working Group held their first planning meeting at the Kedarm Conference Room at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).
Those present at the meeting came from all agencies deemed necessary for the PNMS to succeed: PICRC, Palau Conservation Society (PCS), Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism (MNRET), Protected Areas Network Fund (PAN-F), National Environment Protection Agency (NEPC), the Australian Navy, Marine Law Enforcement, The Nature Conservancy, PNMS Office and various others. The purpose of the meeting was to get all the relevant agencies together to begin working on a plan of action to address specific issues regarding the PNMS.
The meeting focused on six points that the PNMS Executive Committee had highlighted in a previous meeting: (1) Surveillance and Enforcement, (2) Tourism & Marketing, (3) Fisheries and Food Security, (4) Science and Monitoring, (5) Communications/Outreach & Awareness, and (6) Sustainable Financing. The Executive Committee saw these six focal points to be of utmost importance for the people of Palau.
The PNMS, to be successful, needs to engage all the different stakeholders. And this is what the PNMS Strategic Planning Working Group plans to do once their action plans are in place and ready for implementation. As these six focal points are being addressed, the PNMS will increasingly become a great success, from which the Palauan community will be able to benefit. [/restrict]