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Sonsorol, The 16th State to Finally Join PAN

September 2019 – It is with the utmost pleasure that we welcome Sonsorol State into 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.

Again, PAN would like to invite 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.

sonsorol


PAN Awarded 20K from MCT

September 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) Fund was awarded $20,000 from the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) to implement the PAN Unites Project. The goal of this project is to reinforce community engagement and communication strategy for PAN through a series of activities. This project is intended to create momentum for an ongoing program of community engagement and capacity development activities that strengthens the effective implementation of PAN with the inclusion of an engaged group of PAN partners and stakeholders. These activities include (1) implementation of a PAN conference to highlight PAN’s collective achievements, challenges, and opportunities for innovative learning, (2) implementation of a PAN Forum highlighting PAN’s innovations to state leadership, and (3) implementation of a PAN Youth Program to inspire environment and conservation stewards.

Thanks to this award from MCT, PAN will be able to move the project forward with activities to increase engagement and awareness with various stakeholders so that in turn PAN can be provided with adequate and relevant support to further its work. PAN would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the additional 14 recipients of the grant. As such, PAN happily announces the upcoming PAN Conference to be held this year on November 25 and 26. More details about the conference will be communicated accordingly.


Management of Angaur’s first MPA Begins

It is with pleasure that the Protected Areas Network (PAN) announces the launching of Angaur State’s Iuaiu Management Plan. Angaur Governor Kennosuke Suzuky will work closely with Angaur PAN Coordinator, Andrea Naivana, who will take on the responsibility in overseeing the implementation of its management plan. The PAN office will work together with Angaur PAN Coordinator to put together a team as well as develop an annual workplan to prioritize and help effectively monitor and manage Angaur’s Iuaiu Conservation Area.

The Iuaiu Marine Conservation Area is located on the southwestern side of the island of Angaur, in the largest shallow reef flat. The area covers about 86% of the total area of this southwestern reef flat area. The area is home to a large seagrass bed on the shallow reef flat that serves as a nursing ground for an assortment of fish and other marine species. The outer reef slopes on this site also supports a variety of organisms such as the Bump head parrotfish, Napoleon Wrasse, hawksbill turtles, and green turtles that help to maintain its rich ecosystem. Most importantly, the area serves as an important resource for the community as it has provided for the residents in times of need.

iuaiu

The 2020-2024 Iuaiu Marine Conservation Management Plan is the culmination of hard work and effort from the people of Angaur, traditional and elected state leaders, and management planning team with a Vision that states, “We the people of Angaur want to protect and maintain a healthy marine and forest ecosystem that is free of threats to help sustain people’s livelihood and economic prosperity of Angaur State”. Furthermore, Governor Suzuky desires that the Management Plan “guide our community’s efforts in managing our limited resources and advance our community’s conservation efforts over the coming five years”. The protection and effective management of the area will help build resilience of the wider Network as well as contribute to national, regional, and international goals. Angaur is the 15th state to join the Protected Areas Network.


PAN Efforts Communicated at Stakeholder’s Dialogue on Oceans

August 29, 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) was one of five panels highlighted during the Stakeholder’s Dialogue on Oceans that was held at the Ngarachmayong Cultural Center. The PAN panel brought a diverse group of people who work directly with PAN, to talk about efforts that contribute to ocean conservation in Palau and beyond.

symposium

The panel presentations began with PAN Program Coordinator, Mr. Obichang Skebong were he did an overview of PAN and highlighted community efforts that led to the establishment of the PAN Program itself. He was then followed by Ngardmau PAN Coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Ngiraiwet who shared perspective of the program implementation at the site level that included some challenges and opportunities of managing marine and terrestrial sites in her state. Next panel speaker was PICRC researcher, Ms. Shirley Koshiba who shared socioeconomic research results from Ngardmau on community awareness of PAN. This was followed by a presentation by PAN Fund General Manager, Regis Emesiochel who talked about the process of how PAN is funded through a sustainable financing mechanism. The next speaker was by PCS Program Manager, Ms. Lolita Gibbons-Decherong who talked about PCS’s role in conducting and supporting capacity development efforts for the Network. The last panelist was Micronesia Challenge Regional Office Coordinator, Geraldine Datuin who talked about how PAN inspired the Micronesia Challenge. Finally, MNRET’s Applied Scientist and panel moderator, Ms. Lukes Isechal closed the session by summing up the panel discussions.

Other panel sessions focused on the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), Coastal Fisheries, Land Use Planning, and Capacity Building and Training. This Dialogue was an important space as it allowed the audience to hear PAN and its partners talk about how the programs and agencies they represent are collectively progressing in terms of national priorities and overall global development goals.

PAN Supports Cultural Preservation

joyce beouchAugust 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) joined the first day of the two-day Annual Historic Preservation Symposium hosted by the Bureau of Cultural and Historical Preservation (BCHP) and Ngchesar State. Held at the Bai er a Rengara Oldiang in Ngchesar, PAN Office conservation planner Joyce Beouch had the chance to share the history of PAN, its multi-level structure, its roles and functions, as well as highlighted partnerships and efforts being done towards the protection of Palau’s natural and cultural resources. More importantly, PAN shared how its work with PAN states supports BCHP and Palau’s aim to preserve cultural and historical heritage.

This space was important for PAN as it allowed its work to be communicated to relevant stakeholders beyond its usual audience. PAN would like to thank BCHP for giving us the opportunity to extend our reach further through this symposium. Through its Mission, PAN will strive to protect Palau’s natural and cultural resources for future generations to come.


PAN Supported Three Recipients of 2019 Scholarship Program

PAN supported three recipients of 2019 scholarship programThe Protected Areas Network (PAN) was able to support three college interns this summer under the Internship component of the PAN Capacity Building Scholarship Program. This opportunity was made possible through partnership with the Palau National Scholarship Office. Through this partnership, PAN Fund was able to support bi-weekly stipend to the three interns over the course of eight weeks.

The first intern that began earlier this summer was Ms. Ksid Kloulechad, a senior majoring in Anthropology at the University of Victoria in Canada. Through the PAN scholarship program, Ms. Kloulechad chose to do her internship at Ebiil Society under the supervision of Ann Singeo, Executive Director, which combines her interests in learning about culture with environmental conservation. During her time there, she was tasked as the summer youth program assistant whose main responsibility was to participate and document all Ebiil’s activities, including the Ebiil Camps. Moreover, she was able to demonstrate to the campers, the basics of archaeology that she learned from University. The internship helped her gain experience in environmental and cultural conservation which will enrich her studies further.

Another recipient of the internship program was Ms. River Thomas, a recent graduate from Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, minoring in Chemistry and English. She did her internship at the PAN Office under the mentorship of Lukes Isechal, the Applied Scientist of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET). Ms. Thomas assisted Ms. Isechal in the ongoing design and implementation of the Ministry’s National Forest Monitoring Program; a program aimed at determining the status of Palau’s forest resources as well as measure the effectiveness of the Protected Areas Network. In her internship, Ms. Thomas learned to work with software that allowed her to edit and analyze geospatial data and create maps that marked plots in Babeldaob for data collection. This is her second year interning with PAN on this ongoing program and because she is gaining more knowledge and experience, she is confident that she would like to work in the environmental sector.

The remaining recipient of PAN internship program is Ms. Daemi Ngirmidol, a senior at Eastern Oregon University majoring in Natural Resources focusing on data management of conservation and management. Ms. Ngirmidol also interned at PAN Office under Lukes Isechal’s mentorship. Ms. Ngirmidol’s main project was analyzing data collected from PAN’s annual Site Assessment of PAN States. The assessment collected focused on information such as administration, finance, capacity development, education and outreach, assets and maintenance, etc. The information collected and analyzed by Ms. Ngirmidol will bring to attention collective challenges and lessons to inform capacity development, resource, and technical needs at the system-wide level. This project has allowed Ms. Ngirmidol to put into practice skills that can only be refined through experience in data management. Moreover, she was also able to join various activities such as workshops, presentations, and field trips that helped her learn more about what PAN is all about.

Through this internship program, PAN was able to attract and engage new talent to the Network and ensure these young emerging leaders develop interest in PAN related concepts. The PAN Internship component is focused on supporting Palauan college level students apply knowledge gained through classrooms into a professional work setting. PAN would like to encourage more Palauans to take advantage of this scholarship program. For more information on eligibility and specific requirements, please visit the PAN Fund office (located at the Tommy E. Remengesau Bldg. on M-Dock road) or visit the website at www.palaupanfund.org and access the Capacity Building Scholarship Program Application Packages.


PAN States Receive Training Scholarship Award for Ecological Monitoring Course

August 16, 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) Fund awarded twelve PAN state employees in a Marine Ecological Monitoring Training Course through the Palau Community College (PCC) Continuing Education (CE) Program. Two Researchers, Ms. Ikelau Otto and Ms. Lincy Marino, from the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), conducted the training that spanned the course of two weeks (60 hrs). Participants of the training scholarship included PAN rangers Abimelech Etipson from Aimeliik State, Eric Mongami, Abdul M. Omengkar, Lebilau Sebalt, and Sorcha Basilius from Melekeok State, Marino Kloulubak, Arbeen B. Towai, Ignacio Ngiraiwet, and Norden Louis from Ngardmau State, Mohammed Baules, Marlene I. James, and Ulia Dean from Ngiwal State.

The 60-hour training course covered a range of topics in the classroom and in the field that included (1) review of PAN and marine protected areas (MPAs), (2) strengthening value and understanding the purpose of ecological monitoring of protected areas, (3) developing sampling designs to monitor a state’s MPA, (4) learning about ecological indicators to measure the effectiveness of MPAs through ecological surveys, and finally (5) understanding the process of data management. The field portion of the course allowed the participants learn more in depth about marine habitats and species in Ngardmau, Melekeok, and Ngiwal. As a result of the course, the participants created a reporting template for ecological monitoring.

To close the course, participants had the opportunity to share their learning in front of an audience that included PAN state managers, PAN Office and PAN Fund. Through the presentations, participants showed extensive knowledge and understanding of survey tools and methods required to effectively monitor their MPAs. Finally, a Certification Ceremony was held where Governors of the respective participants, PAN State Coordinators, PAN Office and PAN Fund joined in support.

In response to the training course, PAN Fund Board Chairman Mr. Kevin Chin encourages the participants to share their learning with more PAN employees who were unable to join and looks forward to hearing more about states participating in this course as he was quite impressed with the level of knowledge and understanding demonstrated during participant presentations. PAN would also like to acknowledge and thank PCC CE office for their valuable contribution and support.

This opportunity was made possible through the PAN Capacity Building Scholarship Training Component which is aimed at supporting PAN employees supplement the cost of their attendance to related capacity building or professional development training. Through this Training Scholarship, twelve more PAN state employees have raised their capacities and added value to the effective management of their PAN sites as well as the entire Network of protected areas.

For more information on eligibility and specific requirements, please visit the PAN Fund office (located at the Tommy E. Remengesau Bldg. on M-Dock road) or visit the website at www.palaupanfund.org and access the Capacity Building Scholarship Program Application Packages.

PAN States Receive Training Scholarship Award for Ecological Monitoring Course


PAN’s Melekeok Conservation Network Showcases its Work at 25th MOE Convention

July 25, 2019 – As part of the Protected Areas Network’s (PAN) efforts to improve communication flow of PAN activities and updates to the public, it was able to hold two sessions at the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) 25th Annual Education Convention.

In both sessions, PAN office communications officer was able to share some history that created PAN as well as discussed the dynamics between PAN’s three components: PAN Office, PAN Fund, and PAN State. The bulk of the sessions however were focused on the Melekeok Conservation Network (MCN) programs. MCN program manager along with its conservation officers and rangers were able to give a lively presentation about its PAN site and discuss what it takes to manage their sites effectively. They too were able to showcase current activities that can be tailored to students and encourage educators to consider MCN to help expand their students’ knowledge outside the classroom. It was hoped that in this space, PAN would be able to raise awareness of not only Melekeok’s PAN site, but the network in its entirety.

One of the objectives of this years’ MOE Convention was to allow their employees to become more familiar with various programs to assist them in their classrooms. It was PAN’s hope that as a result of this space, more educators would be able to consider MCN and PAN to assist them raise environmental awareness among students and educators alike.

The Protected Areas Network would like to thank the Ministry of Education for creating this space as well as thank all who were able to attend the sessions that were able to contribute to the rich discussions.

PAN's Melekeok Conservation Network Showcases its Work at 25th MOE Convention


PAN Effective Management Workshop

July 16-18, 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) together with several agencies teamed up to help PAN site managers gain the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to effectively manage their states’ protected areas, which was the main goal of the three-day workshop facilitated by the Palau Conservation Society (PCS). The workshop was held on July 16-18 at the Kedarm Conference Room at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). Participation of this workshop was open to all PAN state coordinators/managers, rangers, and conservation officers of the 15 States that were part of the larger network of protected areas under PAN.

PAN Effective Management Workshop

Over the course of three days, participants were able to (1) gain better understanding of the Palau PAN, (2) improve their ability to implement state PAN management plans, and (3) understand basic monitoring and evaluation application by linking them to their state PAN management plan implementation. With these three main objectives in mind, the participants were able to have relevant discussions among their peers, science experts, traditional leaders, and conservation activists on how to better manage their protected areas and its natural resources. Notable speakers during the first day of the workshop included Paramount Chief Reklai, Raphael Bao Ngirmang, who shared his insights on the Palauan conservation tradition. He was then followed by environmental activist and PICRC Board Chairman, Noah Idechong, who shared his first-hand account of how PAN was established. Another notable presenter was Ministry of Education (MOE) Director, Andrew Tabelual, who discussed the importance of good leadership in the workplace.

Numerous topics and discussions held during the workshop included (1) overview of Palau’s national and international policies relevant to conservation management, (2) Palau’s resource status of coral reefs, forests, and birds, (3) definition and understanding effective conservation, (4) the use and importance of the Palau PAN tool for conservation, (5) discussion on qualities of an effective leader; (6) results based management, and (7) the importance of monitoring and evaluation. Participants had the opportunity to practice skills introduced during the workshop as well as share their own successes and challenges in managing their PAN sites.

Organizers and presenters of the PAN Effective Management Workshop was made possible by various partner agencies such as the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET), Palau Conservation Society (PCS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC); Climate Change Office (CCO), Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), The National Environmental Protection Council (NEPC), and the Ministry of Education.

The PAN Office under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET) along with PAN Fund would like to thank all State representatives and partner agencies for making the three-day workshop a fruitful one.


PAN Fund’s Grants Officer Awarded Bill Raynor MC Scholarship

jovalyn ilong koshibaThe Protected Areas Network (PAN) is delighted to announce Ms. Jovalyn Koshiba as one of the recipients of the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge (BRMC) Scholarship. With this BRMC Scholarship, Ms. Koshiba will be able to pursue her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawaii. She will be able to complete her degree by taking online courses for about a year and a half. Ms. Koshiba is currently working at PAN Fund Office as a Grants Program Officer where she is responsible for various grant management activities for the organization. Ms. Koshiba is committed in working towards that the achievement of the Micronesia Challenge. With this opportunity, she will be able to explore other innovative ways to establish robust sustainable financing mechanisms for the Palau Protected Areas Network.

The BRMC Scholarship Fund aims to contribute to the development of effective conservation in Micronesia as well as promote sustainable livelihoods across the region. The BRMC Scholarship Fund was inspired by the late William Charles Raynor, one of Micronesia’s lead conservation pioneers who was involved in various conservation work across Micronesia for over 30 years. He was also instrumental in establishing the Micronesia Challenge and the endowment fund associated with the initiative. He dedicated his life to finding and molding new environmental conservation stewards across the region to maintain the Micronesia Challenge commitment.

Ms. Koshiba was born and raised in the Republic of Palau. She currently holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts with a double major in English and Historical and Political Studies. Ms. Koshiba is the daughter of Fritz and Martha Koshiba and the wife of Elod F. Ngiraingas. Ms. Koshiba expresses her humbleness and gratitude as a Bill Raynor Scholarship Recipient. She is excited and determined to complete her graduate program and contribute to the development of effective conservation of Palau's biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods across the region.

Ms. Koshiba expresses, "Growing up, environment and conservation has been an integral part of my daily life. My father, Fritz Koshiba, was very influential in terms of education, environment, and conservation. He instilled conservation values and taught me how important it is to perpetuate the environment that cradles the way of life." PAN would like to congratulate Ms. Koshiba and fully supports her commitment in pursuing a higher education for the betterment of not only herself, but for Palau, and the region. PAN would also like to encourage more Palauans to take advantage of the numerous opportunities for higher learning, especially in the field that would support the effective management of Palau’s and the region’s resources.


The Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) awards 5 new Graduate Scholarships

The Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) and partners of the Micronesia Challenge are proud to announce the selection of the 2019 cohort of talented young professionals to receive Graduate level scholarships under two regional scholarship opportunities available through MCT. The 5 new recipients brings the total number of Graduate students supported to 13 from across the region.

The Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge (BRMC) Scholarship was made possible by an initial contribution from the estate of one of Micronesia’s conservation pioneers, William (Bill) Charles Raynor (Feb. 22nd, 1957-Sept. 1st, 2015). For over 30 years, he engaged in significant and meaningful conservation work across Micronesia. Among his many pioneering efforts, he helped launch The Nature Conservancy's program in Micronesia, focusing on innovative, community-led conservation and building partnerships. He also helped to establish and strengthen several non- governmental organizations in Micronesia, that are now leading conservation and sustainable development work in their jurisdictions. His inspiring leadership, deep commitment, and passion for innovation were critical to the success of groundbreaking initiatives at every scale—ranging from sustainable agriculture practices for local villages to international agreements to protect biodiversity. Over the course of his three decades in the region, Bill supported and mentored emerging environmental leaders who have the passion and the potential to continue the conservation initiatives and maintain the Micronesia Challenge commitment that he and the other conservation pioneers helped establish in the region.

The Scholarship Fund aims to contribute to the development of effective conservation of Micronesia’s biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods across the region. It provides an opportunity for individuals from Micronesia to undertake either a Master or Doctorate degree in any resource management/conservation field. The selected scholars focus on leadership and technical skills and/or majors that enhance their ability to carry out work in conservation, climate adaptation and sustainable development in Micronesia. Awardees of this prestigious scholarship will receive financial support to earn graduate degrees while receiving close guidance and mentorship from key individuals within the Micronesia Challenge partnership. The mentors/advisors are technical experts who have extensive experience in the field of conservation, climate change adaptation and sustainable development in Micronesia/Pacific.

In addition to the BRMC, the Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation/ Japan (APIC), Sophia University and MCT have partnered to select current conservation professionals from Micronesia to pursue graduate level degrees in conservation. Sophia University has committed to providing full tuition scholarships, APIC is covering travel and room and board expenses and MCT, through the BRMC funds, is covering the cost of internships for the students.

The 2019 Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge program scholars are:

carey demapan Carey Demapan: From Saipan, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Ms. Demapan currently works for the Department of Lands and Natural Resources (DLNR) as the Public Outreach Specialist for the Sea Turtle Program. She will complete her Master’s of Science in Environmental Management at the University of Maryland.
   
jovalyn ilong koshiba Jovalyn Ilong Koshiba: From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Koshiba is currently the Grants Program Officer for the Palau Protected Areas Network Fund (PAN Fund). She will pursue her Master’s of Business Administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii.
   
lincy marino Lincy Marino: From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Marino currently works at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) as a researcher. She will complete her Master’s in Science in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

 

The Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation/ Japan (APIC), Sophia University scholars:

carey demapan Elchung Hideyos: From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Hideyos currently works at the Ebiil Society as the Youth/Community Education Program Coordinator. She will complete her Master’s in Global Environmental Studies at Sophia University.
   
jovalyn ilong koshiba Annette Rose Ludwig: Ms. Ludwig, a Pohnpeian who was raised in Fiji and currently resides in Guam, is a research assistant at the herbarium of the University of Guam. She will pursue her Master’s in Global Environmental Studies at Sophia University.

Second group of PAN Employees Acquire SCUBA Certification

second group of PAN employees aquire scuba certificationOn May 29‐31, 2019, the second group of the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Office and PAN Fund staff and board member completed their SCUBA certification course with Cruise Control SCUBA diving instructors. PAN is determined in raising capacity to improve knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to better support PAN site management. The SCUBA certification will allow technical and administrative staff better access to marine sites by being able to SCUBA dive in marine protected areas. The SCUBA diving course participants have developed better understanding of the nature of work that rangers and conservation officers at PAN sites undertake to manage marine areas requiring SCUBA diving. To date, there are four PAN employees who are now SCUBA certified. The certification would enable the employees to visit and experience designated marine PAN sites first hand. Moreover, when the need arises, they can assist with SCUBA diving activities.


PAN Commemorates 2019 Earth Day with Week‐long Activities

I. April 22 & 24, 2019 – Coastal Clean‐up at outlaying islands

Despite rain and rough waters, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) joined the 2019 Earth Day Committee school visit to Kayangel, Angaur, and Peleliu Elementary Schools on April 22 & 24, 2019. Each visit consisted of short presentations about Earth Day from various government and non‐government agencies followed by tree planting led by Omeliakl Smus from the Bureau of Agriculture (BOA). This whole week was filled up with activities involving the students and youths of all ages in commemoration of the Earth Day 2019 theme, “Protect our Species: For our Lands, Our Oceans and Our Children.

coastal clean up at outlaying islands

II. April 25, 2019 – Ngatpang Clam Planting

In addition to the coastal clean‐up activities, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) also spent the day at Ngatpang planting 200 clam seedlings in one of their marine protected areas known as the Oruaol Ibuchel Clam Farm Conservation Area. As a recovering home to a rich diversity of marine life, this clam planting activity was a fitting commemoration of Earth Day and supportive of the goals and objectives of Ngatpang’s PAN Management Plan as well as the entire Palau PAN. The 200 clam seedlings were generously donated by Director Leon Remengesau from the Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR). This day was also made possible with help and support from various partner agencies such as the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), Environmental Quality Protection Board (EQPB) Bureau of Maritime Security & Fish and Wildlife Protection, Koror State Government‐ Solid Waste Management Division, Ngatpang State Government with its traditional leaders and community members. PAN would like to thank those who helped make this day a success.

ngatpang clam planting

III. April 26, 2019 – Palau Night Market and Photo Contest

As part of the 2019 Earth Day celebrations, The Protected Areas Network (PAN) also launched a photo contest open for all high school students in Palau from grades 9‐12. The photo contest was launched on April 11, 2019 until April 25, 2019 where students were tasked to (1) visit a PAN site of their choice, (2) take a unique photo at the PAN site, and (3) explain (in 3‐5 sentences) how the photo best represents the theme for this year’s Earth Day: “Protect our Species: Our Land, Our Ocean, For Our Children.” The winner was announced at the Palau Night Market at the end of the week, April 26, 2019. The winner of the 1 st PAN Earth Day photo contest was Ms. Kalaiang Ongino, a Sophomore at Palau High School. Her photo entry was taken at Ngardok Nature Reserve in Melekeok State. Her photo was a great shot of an endemic bird of Palau known as Chermelachull, or the Palau Flycatcher. Ms. Ongino’s winning shot is featured as PAN’s Facebook Cover Photo so head over to our FB page (Palau Protected Areas Network) to like and share the photo. PAN would like to congratulate Ms. Kalaiang Ongino.

In addition to the Photo Contest, PAN set up shop at the Palau Night Market where they showcased some PAN State information, collected surveys about PAN sites, as well as had trivia questions for the night market participants that visited the PAN booth where they had a chance to win some PAN Earth Day prizes and learn more about what PAN is all about.

palau night market and photo contest


PAN Special Project Collaboration: Enhancing Enforcement Capacity

February 22, 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) Office together with PAN Fund, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Melekeok Conservation Network (MCN) met at Melekeok’s Ngardok Nature Reserve to discuss its ongoing collaboration project to enhance enforcement capacity and coordination within all of Palau’s PAN sites. This meeting was also a space for the partners to undergo joint work planning to prioritize specific actions and roles under each of the component of the project and prepare for the annual work plan.

PAN and its various partners went over the multiyear work plan for the project that included four components of collaboration that include: (1) Improved capacity building to support enforcement and surveillance activities, (2) Key institutional mechanisms and procedures are established and operationalized to enable on‐site enforcement and surveillance activities, (3) There is a clear, coordinated, and legally robust citation process in place with clear roles and responsibilities of all relevant parties, and (4) Enhanced coordination in the implementation of the activities.

pan special project collaboration: enhancing enforcement capacity


PAN Acquire SCUBA Certification

pan acquire scuba certificationJanuary 30‐ February 1, 2019 ‐ The Protected Areas Network Office (PANO) together with the Protected Areas Network Fund (PANF) took part in a capacity building opportunity. This opportunity was a threeday course conducted by Cruise Control tour agency on open water diving certification. This certification training was a success and as a result, four PANO and PANF staff are now ready to go on to the next level certification when possible. The certification of these four (and hopefully more) will enable PANO and PANF to visit and experience PAN state marine sites first hand. Moreover, when the need arises, PANO and PANF can assist with diving activities. PANO will continue to seek opportunities to build its staff’s capacity as it is one of its goals in its 2019 Work Plan.


PAN Site Visit Activity

January 27, 2019 – The Protected Areas Network Office (PANO) and the Protected Areas Network Fund (PANF) together with special guests from the Our Oceans planning committee, kicked off the new year with a visit to Ngchesar’s PAN site, Mesekelat watershed. Before the team hit the trail to the falls, PAN and special guests sat down to discuss two main things: The upcoming PAN Conference and the development of a Rapid Site Assessment. The team split into two groups and discussed their respective topics. PAN took note of the fruitful discussions and will use them in furthering the work.

After discussions, the team headed down the trail to visit the watershed area and see the work that has been put into its management. PANO and PANF will continue to plan and hold monthly activities in various PAN sites to broaden their understanding of the site while reading state’s quarterly reports.

pan site visit activity


PAN Launches New Logo

pan launches new logoThe Protected Areas Network (PAN) is proud to officially announce the launching of its Network logo in celebration of its 15th Anniversary. The logo was debuted at the 15th PAN Anniversary dinner held in November, 2018 at the Palau Pacific Resort. Prior to the Anniversary event, PAN Office and PAN Fund launched a social media campaign ‐ giving the public a chance to vote for their favorite logo out of 3 possible choices given. Results were announced during the PAN Anniversary event. Since then, the logo has undergone slight alteration but has kept the integrity of the original, reflecting the Network’s Vision and Mission.

The design of the logo includes (1) 16 bird silhouettes representing the resource owners, all 16 states of Palau, as well as Palau’s abundant bird and terrestrial wildlife; (2) Two coconut trees representing the PAN office and PAN Fund; (3) Canoe representing the Palauan people, culture, and way of life; (4) Ocean representing Palau’s pristine waters that has continually fed Palau in the past until today. In addition, the fish and coral silhouette seen shows abundance of the diverse marine life and how rich and pristine Palau’s waters are; (5) Land, which symbolizes not only the rock islands but the terrestrial environment of Babeldaob with fresh water lakes and forests that Palau’s matriarchs have been tilling for centuries to provide much needed nutrition; and (6) Blue and Gold colors representing Palau’s ocean, while the gold represents the moon as similar to Palau’s national flag description.

In the course of its 15 years, numerous milestones have been reached, including the establishment of PAN Fund as well as 15 states being officially added to the Network. Together, these PAN states, PAN Fund, and PAN Office make up this larger Network. This logo signifies its growth and links them together as part of a larger network than themselves.


PAN Opens Competitive Grants and Scholarship Program

The Protected Areas Network Office (PANO) together with PAN Fund (PANF) is pleased to announce the opening of the Competitive Grants and Capacity Building Scholarship Program for 2019.

The first program is known as the Competitive Grants Program. It is a one-time opportunity for PAN Member States to enhance their existing efforts in effectively managing their unique natural, cultural, and historical resources within their respective protected areas. For this program, PAN State’s proposed projects should address at least one or both of the following areas of focus: (1) Monitoring and Special Studies and (2) Tourism Management. Applicants will go through a two phase application process. The first phase involves submitting a concept note electronically between March 8 – April 6, 2019.  Upon approval of concept note, the second phase of the application process will require a completed electronic application form turned in to the PAN Fund Grants Officer, Ms. Jovalyn Koshiba at jkoshiba@palaupanfund.org.

The second program, the Capacity Building Scholarship Program, is an opportunity available for Palauans who are interested or are already involved in Palau’s conservation efforts advance their career in conservation. There are two components to this scholarship program. The first component is the Internship component, which is geared towards supporting Palauan students integrate knowledge gained through their classroom learning into a professional work setting. Awarded applicants will receive $400 biweekly stipend along with airfare coverage. Deadline to apply is April 1 or November 1 of this year.  The second component, which is the Training component, is aimed at supporting PAN employees (PAN State, PAN Office, or PAN Fund) supplement the cost of their attendance to related capacity building or professional development training. Scholarship award will not exceed $5,000. Applicants must submit application and other requirements at least 2 months prior to training dates.

For more information on eligibility and specific requirements, please visit the PAN Fund office (located at the Tommy E. Remengesau Bldg. on M-Dock road) or visit the website at www.palaupanfund.org and access the Competitive Grants Program and the Capacity Building Scholarship Program Application Packages.


Ngardok Nature Reserve Handover Ceremony Communications Infrastructure

ngardok nature reserve handover ceremony communications infrastructure
Front Row: L-R Omar Faustino Program Manager – Ngardok Nature Reserve, Foober Obichang Skebong Program Coordinator – PAN Office, Joanny Kesolei Sales Account Executive – PNCC, Henaro Polloi Governor –Melekeok State
Back Row: L-R Joyce Beouch, Jovalyn Ilong Koshiba, Shannon Oseked, Regis Emesiochel General Manager – PAN Fund, Kevin Chin Vice Chairman – PAN Fund Board, Eric Mongami, Kashgar Rengulbai Secretary – Melekeok Nature Reserve Board, Ur Elbelau, Jefferson Thomas Chairman – Melekeok Nature Reserve Board, and Welliah Kintaro

Melekeok, Palau (August 16, 2018) - Ngardok Nature Reserve in Melekeok State hosted a payment handover ceremony for the installation of the Communications Infrastructure/Landline in Ngardok Nature Reserve (NNR) supported and funded by the Protected Areas Network (PANO/PANF). The ceremony was attended by Joanny Kesolei Sales Account Executive on behalf of Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC), Henaro Polloi Governor of Melekeok State, Foober O. Skebong Program Coordinator PAN Office, Regis Emesiochel General Manager PAN Fund, Kevin Chin Vice Chairman PANF Board, Buik Iyechad Jefferson Thomas Chairman of Melekeok Nature Reserve Board (MNRB), Kashgar Rengulbai Secretary

Melekeok Nature Reserve Board (MNRB), Omar Faustino Program Manager Ngardok Nature Reserve, and relevant members and staff of Melekeok State and PANO/PANF Offices.

The Ngardok Nature Reserve has made tremendous conservation gains in the ten years that it has been a PAN site. It has worked to increase the conservation status of Palau’s forest resources through its groundbreaking work on reforestation measures, improved Palauan understanding of wetland forest ecosystems and the biodiversity that utilize it as well as numerous terrestrial species research such as the orchid taxonomic work that is ongoing now. While these conservation achievements are notable, what is even more noteworthy is the fact that they were achieved despite challenging conditions. The most significant of which is the Reserve’s lack of stable communication infrastructure.

Collaborations between PNCC, PANO/PANF, Ngardok Nature Reserve and Melekeok State Government proved to be worthwhile. As a result, the initial payment of $22,403.74 was given to PNCC to begin its work on site. The remaining $2,489.31 will be paid in full after completion of the installation. The total cost for the service is $24,893.05. “This is a colossal achievement,” said Program Manager Faustino. Achieving this monumental event with the new telephone service at the Reserve will definitely advance our efficiency and effectiveness of the Reserve to meet its management objectives. The following is a short list of how this will improve delivery of the Reserves mission and strategies.

The cost of this infrastructure is nearly $25,000.00. The amount is beyond NNR’s financial capabilities and as such and therefore, funding support from the Palau Protected Areas Network Office tremendously helped remove the limitations of NNR operations. “We believe that supporting Ngardok Nature Reserve by this infrastructure development is a sound investment that ensures the ongoing productivity and management effectiveness of Palau’s first PAN site”, said Omar Faustino. He also would like to express his sincerest gratitude to the PANO/PANF, PANF Board, PNCC, MNRB, and NNR staff for their continued support and cooperation. Without their enthusiasm and efforts, this particular event would not have been achieved so successfully.

Author: Omar Faustino


PAN Fund and PAN Office Handover Monitoring & Surveillance Boat to Ngatpang State PAN Program

surveillance boat for ngatpang state
Left to Right: Kevin Chin (PAN Fund Vice Chairman), Lorenzo Osilek (Ngatpang PAN Boat Operator), Jovalyn Ilong Koshiba (PAN Fund), Jun Ushibata (PAN Fund), John Techitong (Ngatpang PAN Coordinator), Skeras Etpison (Operations Manager NECO Yamaha Co.) Obichang Skebong (PAN Program Coordinator), Rekemesik Shallum Etpison (Ngatpang Traditional Leader), Governor Jersey Iyar (Ngatpang State), Regis Emesiochel (PAN Fund General Manager)

Koror, Palau (July 25, 2018) - Ngatpang is the latest state to join the national Protected Areas Network. Upon the completion, review and approval of their protected areas management plan, the State accessed its first annual operational funds at the beginning of fiscal year 2018. This first disbursement of funds included the cost of a boat to be used for enforcement and monitoring of the 3 marine protected areas in Ngatpang. On June 27, 2018, the PAN Office and PAN Fund met with Governor Jersey Iyar and representatives of traditional and elected leaders to hand over the 25-footer, twin 85hp boat to the Ngatpang State PAN Program and state PAN coordinator, John Techitong. During this first year of operations, the Ngatpang State PAN program has focused on recruiting staff, establishing the office, and procuring necessary equipment.


Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN) Concludes the PAN Recognition Program for FY2018 with a Learning Exchange to Long Beach, CA

PAN recognition program

Koror, Palau (July 13, 2018) – Palau Protected Areas Network Fund (PAN Fund) and Palau Protected Areas Network Office (PAN) concludes the PAN Recognition Program for fiscal year 2018 with a Learning Exchange to the 2018 Scuba Show in Long Beach, CA June 23- 24, 2018.

This year's recognition program was initiated with "Employee of the Year" program where PAN Members States (Governors and Coordinators) were given the opportunity to nominate their PAN employee of the year. Thirteen PAN employees were formally recognized and honored for their excellent work during the PAN Appreciation Event held on May 24, 2018.

The second part of the recognition program was implemented shortly after with the objective of rewarding PAN Member States meeting certain reporting criteria and their level of efforts in becoming a self-sufficient sites. Four PAN member states namely Ngarchelong State, Melekeok State, Ngeremlengui State and Ngardmau State received the highest scores and were formally rewarded with an opportunity to showcase their PAN program in the 2018 Scuba Show, in partnership with the Palau Visitors Authority, Palau Marine Sanctuary and Heirs to Our Ocean. Amongst the PAN member states participants were Paloma Swei representing Ngarchelong State, Loma-Linda Gabriel representing Melekeok State, Elicio Skebong representing Ngeremlengui State and Jennifer Kedals Ngiraiwet representing Ngardmau State.

The event was a huge success! PAN representatives had the chance to interact and mingle with both exhibitors, customers and other conservationist. PAN representatives also participated in a seminar hosted by the Palau Visitor's Authority and had the opportunity to showcase their individual State attraction to an audience of approximately 40 people. "It was an eye-opening experience that enabled us to market our conservation efforts" said the PAN member state participants. Both PAN Fund and PAN Office hope to capitalize on these partnerships to support PAN member States in developing and implementing site-based sustainable financing plan to complement the PAN Sustainable Financing Plan.