Come hear an environmental hero share how he and his nation, the Republic of Palau, balance local culture and natural resources against the demands and challenges of economic growth, tourism, and climate change. President of Palau Thomas (Tommy) Remengesau is speaking on Sunday, June 2, 2013 from 5:00-6:30pm at Maui College ‘Ike Le’a Building #114.
Media Advisory – Free presentation on Maui by visionary environmental leader President Thomas (Tommy) Remengesau, Republic of Palau
Tommy Remengasau has been honored by Time magazine as one of the world’s environmental heroes. Remengasau is president of the Pacific island nation of Palau, an archipelago of 340 islands located 600 miles east of the Philippines.
Long recognized as one of the “Seven Underwater Wonders of the World,” Palau, like many Pacific island nations, faces challenges posed by economic growth, tourism, climate change and loss of natural resources.
Thanks to Remengasau’s remarkable leadership, however, the country is a global leader in successfully balancing natural resource conservation with cultural preservation and sustainable economic development.
Come hear how Remengasau did it and learn how Palau’s lessons can benefit Hawai?i. For more information and to RSVP please call 808-587- 6240.
Rememgesau was selected as one of Time Magazine’s 2o07 Heroes of the Environment for his innovative and influential role in protecting of the planet. Nature Conservancy officials say his work includes advocacy to minimize the impacts of climate change.
WHO: President of the Republic of Palau Thomas (Tommy) Remengesau
WHAT: A free public presentation about how the island nation of Palau balances and preserves their local culture and natural resources against the demands and challenges of economic growth, tourism, and climate change.
WHEN/WHERE: Sunday, June 2, 2013 from 5:00-6:30pm at Maui College ‘Ike Le’a Building #114.
Background: Palau’s waters are among the richest in the world, containing more than 700 coral species and nearly 1,300 varieties of reef fish. In recent decades, these rich resources attracted fisheries and tourism and over time, Palauans saw a decline in their natural resources.
In 2005, President Remengesau committed his nation to preserving 30 percent of their near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of their terrestrial resources by 2020. He launched the Micronesia Challenge in 2006, inspiring neighboring countries in Micronesia to match Palau’s commitment to conserving nature and culture.
This precedent-setting campaign inspired similar “challenges” in the Caribbean, Coral Triangle, and most recently the Western Indian Ocean. Guided by his slogan, “Preserve the Best and Improve the Rest,” Remengesau helped create the enabling modern government conditions in Palau that allowed local communities, fishers, and chiefs to establish a network of protected areas to replenish their marine resources. President Remengesau and champions in Congress, such as Speaker Noah Idechong (who visited Maui in June 2011), implemented a visitor’s “green” fee to provide sustainable funding for conservation and enforcement.
Remengesau also established a dedicated Ministry for Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, and signed into law a total ban on shark finning, deep-sea bottom trawling and the live reef fish trade in Palau.
Rememgesau is recognized as a global leader, maintaining Palau’s presence at the United Nations and advocating to minimize the impacts of climate change in island nations across the Pacific. Time magazine chose him as one of their 2007 Heroes of the Environment (http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1663317_1663319_1669885,00.html ).
President Remengesau is visiting Hawaii with a delegation from Palau representing both community groups and government as part of our ongoing Hawaii-Palau learning exchange. Accompanying the President is newly appointed Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, Umiich Sengebau. The delegation will also participate in the launch of the H?k?le?a M?lama Hawai‘i leg of M?lama Honua, the Worldwide Voyage.
To learn more about the Micronesia Challenge, visit http://themicronesiachallenge.blogspot.com/p/about.html