President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., after a meeting with the United Nations secretary general in Fiji, travelled to Lisbon,Portugal to give a keynote address at the Oceans Meeting, an international ministerial conference on smart ocean governance, that is slated May 16-17.

Remengesau, who was in Fiji since May 12 to attend the third Climate Action Pacific Partnership Conference (CAPP) and climate talks with the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres,headed straight to Portugal yesterday evening (Palau time) where he will be expected to speak about marine conservation.

An information from the Palau presidential office revealed that Remengesau was chosen as the keynote speaker for the conferencein recognition of “Palau’s innovative and far-reaching steps to govern the ocean”.

Remengesau is expected to share in his speech Palau’s new marine sanctuary, a conservation measure that mandates the closure of 80 percent of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to commercial fishing and reserves the remaining 20% for domestic fishing.

“[Palau’s new marine sanctuary]is a conservation measure, a necessary response to the global biodiversity crisis, as last week’s UN biodiversity assessment highlighted,” Remengesau was quoted saying in a statement sent to the press.

“It is a food security measure, as we expect that it will improve the productivity of small-scale fishing in the remainder of our EEZ. And it is an economic measure, designed to underpin our tourism sector and to continue to attract the discerning tourist to world-class diving and sport fishing in Palau’s waters,” he added.

After his trip to Portugal, Remengesau will depart to Washington D.C for a meeting with United States President Donald Trump along with the Republic of the Marshall Islands President Hilda C. Heine and Federated States of Micronesia President David W. Panuelo.  (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)