The government of the Republic of Palau signed a Memorandum of Understanding last night with IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, sealing a partnership to further conservation commitments for both parties.
The signing took place at a side event hosted by IUCN as part of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas being held this week in Suva.
Through the MOU both parties agree to develop a mutual partnership to conserve biodiversity, manage the impacts of climate change, and promote sustainable development in Palau.
Palau is home to a spectacular array of biodiversity and ecosystems and hosts a World Heritage Site, the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, recognized for its exceptional ecological diversity, coral reefs, lagoon and limestone islands and marine lakes.
At the signing last night the Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism of Palau, Honourable F. Umiich Sengebau reiterated the words of President Remengesau Jr. saying that ‘partnership is always important’.
“There is a lot of work to be done and governments cannot do it themselves and therefore we must work with partners,” Minister Sengebau said.
The government of Palau is a key driver of the Micronesia Challenge which was launched in 2005 by Palau's President, His Excellency Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. The Micronesia Challenge was signed by five governments who committed to “effectively conserve at least 30 percent of the near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020.”
“Palau has led the region in terms of big and meaningful conservation commitments that the rest of the Pacific can follow and we welcome them into the IUCN family,” said Mr. Taholo Kami, Regional Director of IUCN Oceania Regional Office.
For over 60 years IUCN has been a unifying force for biodiversity conservation and continues to work with its Members and partners to support and pursue the importance of nature, both for nature and humanity.
IUCN is a membership organization and welcomes membership from NGOs in Palau and Micronesia. IUCN also acknowledges the special roles that IUCN Members such as The Nature Conservancy are fulfilling in this region.
President Remengesau Jr. was named "Pacific Champion" earlier this week at the inaugural Pacific Islands Environment Leadership Awards, given by the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme.