Members of Sonsorol Legislature, Sonsorol Chief, Delegate, community members, and Governor Laura-Iegaro Miles with Minister Sengebau along with PAN Office and PAN Fund staff.

Sonsorol State has become the 16th state to join the Protected Areas Network (PAN).

Their nominated site, the Merir Protected Area, has a rich ecosystem that supports a variety of habitats that includes diverse marine and terrestrial organisms such as birds, green turtles, coconut crabs, fish, and other marine species.

The Merir Island is a critical area to include into the Network of Protected Areas in Palau as it bears the largest nesting site for melob (green sea turtles). Since the melob is an endangered species, it is with pride that Palau, by the inclusion of Merir Island into PAN, will be making a contribution toward global efforts to save this CITES-listed species. In addition, the effective management of this site will contribute to Palau’s overall biodiversity goal and commitment in achieving objectives of the Micronesia Challenge.

To effectively manage this site, the Merir Municipality in partnership with Sonsorol State will work together to effectively manage Merir Conservation Area.  PAN will continue to work with Sonsorol State to develop their Management Plan to help guide its efforts and priorities for the next few years.

PAN also invites all states and partners to welcome and congratulate Sonsorol State and Merir Municipality for its inclusion into PAN, making it the 16th and final state to join the Palau Protected Areas Network. (PR)