An outreach education program is being conducted by the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Office (PNMS) connects students and the community to learn about the marine sanctuary which when implemented by January 1, 2020, would prohibit commercial fishing in over 500,000 square kilometers exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The outreach program, which was started in early 2018, is engaging young people and the community in the environmental programs of the country, specifically the creation of the marine sanctuary.
Elsei Tellei, Outreach and Education Officer of PNMS said that the program has been conducted in several schools and Babeldaob and will cover all schools in Airai and Koror.
Tellei said the aim of the outreach program is to ensure that the youth and the community by the time the law is implemented in 2020 “are aware of the spirit of the law.”
Tellei said part of the program is to educate the people in Palau about the PNMS work and to explain what will transpire at the designated 80 percent of the nation’s maritime territory when it becomes a fully protected marine reserve.
The community will also learn about 20 percent of Palau’s waters set aside as domestic fishing zone reserved for local fishermen.
Tellei said the community and the schools’ students are also introduced to surveillance work that is being done to protect the country’s ocean.
“Just letting them how can they gain better environmental issues of what’s happening in Palau of which the PNMS is the biggest one right now,” Tellei said.
PNMS is also partnering with other environmental agencies in Palau. (Bernadette Carreon)