Sample Image

past news & events

Ngardok Nature Reserve initiates Tri-State El Nino preparedness exercises and education in Melekeok State

Youth from Ngiwal, Melekeok, and Airai joined together on June 20 to prepare for El Nino

Blisang, Melekeok State: On June 20th youth from Ngiwal, Airai, and Melekeok gathered in front of the state office to get training on how to prepare for El Nino and the predicted drought that will soon hit Palau. Coordinating the event were PAN site coordinators from each respective state. Clarence Polloi from Airai, Lorraine Kloulubak from Ngiwal, and Kevin Mesebeluu from Melekeok, and with Mark Defly from the US Embassy NRCS as the facilitator for the exercises. The youth were first taken to a traditional watering hole in Ngermelech hamlet where they were shown what can happen if a water source is not protected from run-off. The traditional watering hole had been filled up with dirt and large trees had taken root. They were taught how storm run-off or “baoch” is the result of heavy rains moving incredibly fast over pavement and roads, causing heavy erosion and sedimentation into the traditional water sources and into the reef. The youth learned that when there is tall grass, plants, and natural barriers like fallen trees or “kaud”, the “baoch” is slowed down and results in less erosion and sedimentation. The important lesson they learned was that the wetland around the water sources and “mesei” act as a sponge, to hold and retain water and is more resilient to drought conditions. The second water source the youth visited was “Itelbang” in Ukaeb hamlet. During the 97 – 98 drought this water source continued to produce water and was utilized by the local community. The youth were instructed on how to maintain such water sources in the traditional way mixed with modern engineering tips. They were encouraged to return home after the training and survey their own state’s water sources; after which the same youth’s will convene and assist in the maintenance of those water sources. The final activity was a visit to the Melekeok Dam. Ngardok staff prepared the site and secured the tools the youth would use to demo erosion control practices. The area at the dam has a run-off point that could possibly cause sedimentation in the intake pool. The youth strategically planted 469 “Keskus” with 4 inches of gap in between and laid out logs to create a “kaud” to slow the "baoch”.  It is a traditional way to prevent sedimentation and erosion that is being utilized by Anne Singeo of the Ebiil Society and the “Mechas ra Dengitech” who are replanting vast areas of bare savannah in Ngarchelong. The PAN coordinators wish to thank Mark Defly, Governor Ellender Ngirameketii, Governor Tmewang Rengulbai, and Governor Aloisius Tellei for their continued support for their states PAN activities.

Here is a list of the participants:

Airai State Ngiwal State US Embassy NRCS
Clarence Polloi
Tekau Teriong
Artingal Polloi
Sibong Watanabe
Kldyl Ngiralmau
Deurreng Michelle John
John Belt
Omu Jaylen Basilius
Loretta LeeRoy
Susan Mereb
Verlyne N. Meresbang
Etiterngel Keptot
Fernando Ngirakesau
Ismael Rongel
Mark Delfy
Melekeok State    
Travis Boisek
Branson Eungel
Kishea Liep
Leilua Gardner
Kyomi Sumang
Rechuldak Stephanus
Kevin Mesebeluu
Svetlena Kadoi
Brian Eungel
Eric Mongami
Emerick Kintaro
Anfion Ridep
Lomalinda Gabriel
Ur Elbelau
Jovelly Sabo
Olbangel Kintaro
Allen Rechelbang


El Nino Efforts

El Nino Efforts

El Nino Efforts


Palau Iinks MOU With CIF

Palau recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Conservation International Foundation (CIF) regarding collaboration on the Micronesia Challenge and the Pacific Oceanscape.

MOUPresident Remengesau signed on behalf of the Palau Government, while CIF Director Susan Taei inked her signature on behalf of the Foundation. In 2006, the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), and the US territory of Guam announced their “Micronesia Challenge” as a commitment to protect 30 percent of their near-shore and coastal marine environment and 20 percent of their forests by 2020.

Palau has committed itself to the Micronesia Challenge through its existing national protected area network including the establishment of an appropriate number of new protected areas to adequately fill the gaps in the existing network. Palau has also endorsed the framework for the Pacific Oceanscape, at the 39th Pacific Islands Leaders Forum.

CIF is a non-governmental organization that focuses on building a strong foundation of science, partnership, and field demonstration to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global diversity, for the well-being of humanity.

The organization sees the endorsement of the Pacific Oceanscape Framework by the Pacific Islands Forum, in September 2010, as an opportunity to advance oceanic and island conservation regionally and nationally and provide a global model for sustainable development.

CIF signed the MOU with Palau with the wish to provide technical support to assist efforts of the Government of Palau to meet its goals under the Micronesia Challenge and its commitment to the Pacific Oceanscape, particularly in the development of a network of protected areas.

Under the MOU, CI agrees to pay to Palau’s Micronesia Challenge Trust Endowment Fund managed by the Micronesian Conservation Trust (MCT) an amount equal to $1 million, under an appropriate agreement with the MCT by June 30, 2014.

To trigger this CIF payment Palau undertakes to provide: 1) rate of CIF: Palau funding of 1:2;2) A report on the status, progress, funding and expenditure as of March 2014 for Palau’s Micronesia Challenge commitment. This will include a Palau protected area network (PAN) update that gives site listings, area covered, and key habitat/species protection in relation to Palau’s Micronesia Challenge targets and any issues arising in that regard. The first such report will be considered the baseline report for Palau’s PAN; 3) following the payment, not exceeding $1 million, Palau commits to providing an annual Palau PAN report to CIF no later than December 31 for each year, until December 31, 2020. The annual Palau PAN reports will cover the status, progress, funding, and expenditure for Palau’s Micronesia Challenge commitment. This will include a Palau protected area network (PAN) update that gives site listings, area covered, the habitat/species protection in relation to Palau’s Micronesia Challenge targets and any issue arising in that regard.

The parties agree that funds provided by CIF to Palau’s component of the Micronesia Challenge Trust Endowment Fund will be used to capitalize a permanent endowment, the interest from which will support the establishment and management of Palau’s PAN, to meet its Micronesia Challenge goal of protecting 30 percent of its near-shore and coastal marine environment and 20 percent of its forests by 2020.


Taiwanese Fishing Vessel Runs Aground Conservation Area

A  Taiwanese fishing boat has run aground at a conservation area in Koror State. The F/V Kuorong, which was heading to the Solomon Islands, hit a reef and ran aground in the Ngederak Reef Conservation Area late afternoon of Monday, June 9, 2014. According to Earnest Ongidobel, Chief Administrative Officer of the Koror State Government, Koror State Rangers were notified and responded to the site of the grounding around 4:00 PM of June 9. “The boat was on its way out of Palau when it ran aground in the conservation area”, He disclosed. Ongidobel informed that the boat arrived in Palau last week and was on its way to the Solomon Islands when the accident happened. The boat is owned by the Palau International Traders Inc., (PITI), a Taiwanese fishing company operating in Palau. The number of crew or displacement of the vessel was not disclosed. Though, it was believed to be of the same size as the other Taiwanese fishing vessels operating in the waters of this island nation. According to other sources, the boat was being guided through the area by another boat when it tried to overtake the guide boat and hit a reef in the area. The same sources contended that the Taiwanese skipper of the boat was here for the first time and was unfamiliar with the area. The boat was lightened of its load of bait fish, fuel, and other items and was later raised and towed the Malakal Port where it is temporarily anchored pending an investigation and settlement of the matter. The raising of the ship was done in a fast and efficient way. “There was no spillage of fuel”. A person with knowledge of the salvage and towing operation noted. It was noted that it took several days or months to raise vessels that were involved in previous grounding incidents. A team comprising of Koror Rangers and personnel and experts from the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and the Environmental Protection Board (EQPB) later went to the area to assess the damage. The extent of the damage on the reef has not yet been divulged. EQPB Executive Director Roxxane Blesam said that they are investigating the incident and will soon release their findings and report on the matter. Several cases of ship groundings have occurred in the areas around Koror in the past years. These include Ye-Seung 1, a fishing vessel owned by the Ye-Seung Marine Ltd. Which ran aground in Ikeldules Reef on November 2012. Another fishing vessel owned by Ye-Seung, which is a Korean company, ran aground in a different area a few months later. The owner of the ships later paid a fine to the EQPB.


Palau International Coral Reef Center and Palau Community College Sign MCA on Collaborative Ecological Monitoring Certification Program

SigningPICRC and PCC sign a Memorandum of Cooperation Agreement (MOCA) to develop and implement a collaborative ecological monitoring certification program at PCC to strengthen partnerships, build capacity, and support conservation mainly on law enforcement.The signing was held at PCC Assembly Hall on Tuesday, June10, 2014by Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PICRC, andDr. Patrick U. Tellei, President of PCC.  It was witnessed by staff members from PICRC, PCC, Protected Area Network (PAN) Office, P-CoRIE, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and PAN coordinators from the states of Koror, Ngaraard, Ngardmau, and Ngiwal.

The purpose of the collaboration between PICRC and PCC is to jointly develop and implement a training program according to the best practices and standards of PCC; provide and educate the trainers that will eventually conduct the courses of the program; provide other resources needed to conduct the program; issue certificates for successful completion of the program; and continuously evaluate, modify, and improve the program.  It is designed to join the forces of both parties in order to provide proper training in the development of the local capacity to preserve and protect Palau’s pristine natural environment.

The program will prepare individual state conservation programs to comply with the PAN requirements.  It willalso provide the ecological background for conservation work.  The courses will be offered through the PCC Continuing Education (CE) and, while it is intended Palau’s PAN conservation officers, interested community members may participate.


PICRC conducted a baseline survey at Ngeruangel MPA

NgeruangelFrom May 12-16, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) Research Team, which included Marine Gouezo, Shirley Koshiba, Lincoln Rehm, Geory Mereb, Dawnette Olsudong, and Jay Oruetamor conducted surveys at Ngeruangel MPA for one week. Mr. Lazarus Meyar, Conservation Officer from Kayangel State, joined the PICRC research team to conduct the surveys.

Underwater surveys, both snorkeling and using SCUBA, were undertaken to gain information on the density and biomass of commercially important fish species, protected fish species and invertebrates as well as benthic cover including coral recruits (baby corals) density. In one week, PICRC was able to survey forty-two sites in three different habitats. The habitats surveys were forereef, back reef and lagoon. Since the sites were selected randomly in each habitat, the results could be extrapolated to give us good information on the status of resources inside Ngeruangel MPA.

PICRC research team is planning on conducting baseline assessment surveys of all coral reef MPA’s across Palau. These monitoring surveys are needed to gain a better understanding on the effects of protection through time. It also helps conservation managers of Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN) to make the best decisions.

The information gained from these surveys is also communicated to the local communities to inform them about the protection’s effect on the marine ecosystems and the efforts required to improve their resilience. This survey fulfills PICRC’s efforts in collaborating with partners and other organizations to provide necessary science to support effective management and sustainable use of coastal resources and conservation.


Plea Hearing for Vietnamese Fishermen Set

A Plea Hearing/Status Conference will be held for the eight Vietnamese who were recently apprehended by Palau authorities while allegedly fishing without permits in a protected area off Kayangel State.

An Order handed down by Chief Justice Arthur Ngiraklsong, who is presiding over the trial, said that the counsels for both the fishermen and the Republic have agreed to the date of the Plea Hearing/Status Conference. The Order was dated March 26, 2014.

The Republic is represented by Assistant Attorney General Joshua Kolsrud, while defense counsel is Chief Public Defender Lalii Chin-Sakuma.

The eight Vietnamese, namely: Nguyen Hung, Nguyen Rin, Bui Tam Den, and Bui Tan Loc, Vo Van Dung, Le Quy Nam, Vo Cong, and Vo Ngoc, pled not guilty to the charges filed against them during the first appearance hearings on March 24 and 25.

The eight were charged with with 11 crimes including: Aiding and Abetting Unlawful Entry; Aiding and Abetting Illegal Fishing Without a Permit; Aiding and Abetting Attempted Illegal Fishing Without a Permit; Conspiracy to Commit Illegal Fishing Without a Permit; Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Acts; Aiding and Abetting Unlawful Acts; Attempted Unlawful Acts; Aiding and Abetting Attempted Unlawful Acts; and two counts of Grand Larceny.

The plea hearing will be held at Courtroom 101 at the Palau Supreme Court on Friday, April 4, 2014, starting 1:30 PM.

The eight were caught by Kayangel State Rangers on the morning of March 19, 2014 poaching giant clams and sea cucumbers off Ngeruangel, Kayangel, which is a conservation area. The Vietnamese were fishing with dive gear and a small vessel overseen by a larger “mother boat”. The “mother boat” fled the scene as the Kayangel Rangers approached.
The defendants are currently housed  at the Catholic Church in Koror.

Courtesy of Island Times


PAN Technical Committee Meeting

On April 16, 2014, Protected Area Network (PAN) technical committee members met to review a nomination for Ngatpang State PAN site. Ngatpang State is the one of remaining three States in Palau that doens't have existing site in the protected area network. The two other states are Angaur and Sonsorol.

The PAN technical committee is an advisory body that will review a nomination of each state PAN site and will provide its recommendation to the Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism.

The body consist of representatives from PICRC, PCS, BLS, BAC, EQPB, BMR, and BOA, including individual capacity as experts in their field, including Alan Olsen, Madelsar Ngiraingas and Steven Victor.


Mesekiu Slaughtered in Ngiwal

An investigation is on-going of an alleged slaughtering of a Mesekiu (Dugong) with meat distributed to several people in Ngiwal. The slaughter of the dugong is said to have taken place three weeks ago with national and state law conservation and law enforcement authorities still looking into the report. According to police and Ngiwal State sources, the dugong or Mesekiu in Palauan, was still juvenile and was caught in Ngemai Reef in Ngiwal State. Sources say that the person under suspicion is employed by the Ngiwal State Government. Dugongs are highly protected species with laws in place strictly prohibiting taking because of their dwindling numbers.