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Palau’s unique and fragile ecosystem is in grave danger

Posted by Ngoaol Bul | First Choice,

The explosion of mass tourism in our region is causing rapid deterioration of the pristine paradise that is Palau and critically endangering its many unique species and ecosystems on which Palauan livelihoods are dependent. 

Many call our nation a Small Island State but we like to think of Palau as a Big Ocean State. Our country of 20,000 has the jurisdiction of an ocean area nearly the size of France, which has stretched our enforcement resources to the breaking point. Something needs to be done before it’s too late. Tourists need to be educated on how to interact with the environment in a sustainable way. Palauans need help to provide tourism products and services that preserve the country for future generations. This is where the Palau Legacy Campaign comes in. It is an integrated, multi-platform, multi-cultural communications campaign that harnesses Palau’s age-old approach to conservation. It educates visitors and locals in a meaningful, relevant way to change behaviors toward the environment. The Legacy Campaign is a Herculean effort to save Palau’s environment and culture as well as set a precedent for the world.

The launch of the campaign will include scientific and economic research to establish a baseline for the impact of tourism on our marine environment. This will lead to a greater understanding for our people and elected leaders so we can make informed decisions about visitor capacity limits that critical habitat and species can bear under the pressure of tourism.

Submitted by Friends of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary with the blessing of Palau’s President, Tommy E. Remengesau Jr.

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