In 2016, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) agreed to assist Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) with the restoration of seawater and electrical systems. This August, JICA will begin the Follow-up Corporation Project to upgrade the facilities and equipment at PICRC.

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The construction of PICRC began in 1999 and the Center opened its doors to the public on 2001.   The facilities and many of the equipment have been used for over 17 years.   In 2016, PICRC applied for a Follow up Cooperation through JICA. Facilities are selected for these grants based on how well the facilities have been maintained after their initial establishment.

“For almost 20 years, we have worked hard to maintain the facilities and equipment at the Center that were given as part of the Japan Technical Cooperation Program,” says PICRC CEO, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu. “In spite of our best efforts, time and elements have taken their toll on many of our facilities and equipment, therefore, this Follow-Up Cooperation if very timely and addresses a critical need of the Center.  We are extremely grateful for this restoration as well as all the support that Japan and JICA have provided to the Center over the years.”

The restoration work at the Center will take about one month to complete and will include upgrading the water circulation and filter systems, improving the lighting system in the aquarium, restoring the power generator, among many other enhancements. This project will be an improvement for the Center and will ensure PICRC facilities are energy efficient, helping to reduce operational costs. [/restrict]