photo is from huckmag.com

Two global leaders in conservation—The Republic of Palau and The Nature Conservancy (TNC)—have announced a new partnership in support of the 7th Our Ocean Conference (OOC), an annual meeting of government, business, scientific, and civil society leaders to tackle some of the world’s most vexing ocean conservation problems. This year’s conference, which will be held on 17-18 August in Palau, is unique in that it is the first time a small island nation has assumed such a large responsibility.

In order to ensure the wide participation of civil society, Palau has requested that The Nature Conservancy (TNC) coordinate regional NGO participation at the event and harness their diverse knowledge to find practical solutions to the global ocean crisis.

“Palau sees civil society as a crucial partner in ocean conservation. They bring fresh ideas and on-the-ground experience to marine resource problem-solving, and I know they will improve the outcome of the conference,” said Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., the President of the Republic of Palau.

As an island nation on the frontlines of the global ocean crisis and leading conservation champion, Palau is a fitting setting for the 2020 OOC. In fact, when the meeting opens, the country will be a few months into the enactment of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, 500,000-square kilometres of protected ocean that preserves key habitat and traditional fishing grounds.

At the same time, with almost 30-years of experience in the Pacific, TNC is well-positioned to coordinate NGO involvement at the meeting.

“With long-term, established and trusted relationships with community leaders and government advisors, TNC is uniquely poised to act as a convenor to help identify solutions to manage marine resources, increase the ocean’s resilience to climate change and safeguard its health for generations to come,” said Steven Victor, the Director of TNC Micronesia.

The people of Palau and TNC are deeply committed to healthy marine ecosystems, a world where people and nature can coexist and thrive, and community empowerment. We hope this vision will be shared by all governments, civil society and businesses to ensure oceans and marine resources are protected for the future.

About The Republic of Palau

A global leader in conservation, and former commercial fisherman, President Tommy Remengesau Jr. is committed to leading the world in implementing real solutions to marine management problems that include a place for responsible harvesting by the local fleet. On October 28, 2015, he signed into law one of the world’s most ambitious ocean conservation initiatives to date, the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act. After a five-year transition period, the Palau National Marine Sanctuary will encompass over 80 percent of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), an area of almost 500,000 square kilometers. The remaining 20 percent will be reserved for traditional fishing and highly regulated and reformed domestic fishing fleet to serve only Palau’s domestic and tourism needs. It takes effect this year.

About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.