Palau Awarded for Ocean Policies

Written by on October 23, 2012 in Other News, Policy & Ocean Law
Great hammerhead shark is found in Palau's EEZ.

Great hammerhead shark is found in Palau’s EEZ. Photo credit: Wendell Reed via photopin cc

For their marine conservation efforts, the South Pacific nation of Palau recently received the Future Policy Award for 2012.

The award, administered by the World Future Council, was given at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyerabad, India to the country with the best ocean policies. It was given in recognition of the 2003 Protected Areas Network Act and the 2009 Shark Haven Act.

“The aim of the World Future Council is to raise awareness for exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies,” explained Alexandra Wandel, director of the World Future Council.

Under Palau’s 2003 Protected Areas Network Act, residents are responsible for managing the protected areas.  The Act also involves protecting 30 percent of the near-shore marine environment by 2020.  While management has remained local, some financial and technical support is provided by the government.

“Palau is a global leader in protecting marine ecosystems,” said Wandel.

Palau’s exclusive economic zone (600,000 sq km) is home to about 130 rare shark and stingray species.  A recent study determined that Palau’s economy is benefiting from protecting these rare species.

A team of Australian researchers calculated the value of reef sharks in the water (in the form of tourism) and out of the water (in the form of a fishery).  Catching and selling 100 reef sharks would result in a one-time payment of $10,800.  Leaving those same 100 sharks in the water attracts more tourists and results in about $18 million per year–and these sharks live 10-25 years.

2012 Future Policy Award.

Jan McAlpine, Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, WFC Councillor; Heather Ketebengang, Go4Biodiv Messenger, Palau Conservation Society; Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council. Photo © World Future Council.

To learn more:

The oceanic whitetip is another species found in the waters of Palau. Photo credit: href="">alfonsator via photopin cc

The oceanic whitetip is another species found in the waters of Palau. Photo credit: alfonsator via photopin cc

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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