Bhutan, 5 June 2019 – Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering today met with First Lady, Debbie Remengesau as part of the UNWTO Conference in Bhutan and signed the Palau Pledge in a symbolic gesture acknowledging the shared culture of conservation between the two countries.
During the meeting, First Lady Remengesau highlighted the strong similarities between the two nations that she had observed during her time in Bhutan including the respect and appreciation for environment and culture and the importance of preserving both for the next generation; their shared UNESCO World Heritage status; nuclear free constitutions and the focus Bhutan has placed on high-value, low-impact tourism. She also observed that both Palauans and Bhutanese grow and chew beetle nuts and that neither country has traffic lights!
The Prime Minister noted that Bhutan adopted the high-value, low-volume tourism model at the bequest of the King of Bhutan in 1974 and that it was a long-term strategy designed to benefit the whole community. He praised Palau’s conservation culture and world-leading efforts to protect environment and culture including the Palau National Marine Sanctuary and the Palau Pledge.
First Lady Remengesau and Prime Minister Tshering also discussed how both countries could work together to raise awareness of the global issues facing both small nations and agreed to collaborate on sustainable, ecotourism strategies moving forwards.
“Today we have started a friendship that will last forever” said Prime Minister Tshering. “We are a land-locked country that has devoted 60% of our land to forestation for the betterment of the environment. Similarly, Palau is surrounded by oceans and has designated 80% of its EEZ as a marine sanctuary.”
The Palau Pledge has also been backed by a number of global figures including Leonardo DiCaprio, HRH Queen Noor of Jordan, Richard Branson and political influencers such as Secretary John Kerry and conservation luminary Dr Sylvia Earle. For more information about the Palau Pledge, visit palaupledge.com. (PR)