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Woman fishers gleaning sea cucumbers in Palau.

Sustainable Ocean Economies

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As countries around the world establish marine protected areas (MPAs) to protect marine biodiversity, they must determine how best to integrate those MPAs into their development goals. We are developing approaches and tools to support the small island developing states of the Pacific in their efforts to integrate development and conservation.

In Palau, at the request of the President, we have been working with the Palau International Coral Reef Center and a team of Palauan and international experts to develop analyses and options for implementation of legislation that protects 80% of its Exclusive Economic Zone as a marine sanctuary, while achieving its economic development and food security goals. COS co-directors Micheli and Leape presented the report to the President of Palau and to a meeting of the full national leadership – ministers, governors and members of Congress – as well as other stakeholder groups in Palau. We are continuing to provide ongoing support to strengthen marine resource management. 

Explore our work

Island on blue ocean water.

The Palau National Marine Sanctuary

Managing ocean change and supporting food security in one of the largest marine protected areas in the world

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coral reef fish

Marine Protection in Palau

Harnessing large-scale marine protection for food security, cultural heritage and biodiversity conservation

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Micronesia Challenge

Strengthening transboundary integrated marine resource management for healthy marine ecosystems and sustainable coastal fisheries

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Fisher with phone.

Digital platforms empowering small-scale fishers

Deploying a digital platform by ABALOBI with fishers in the Republic of Palau

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Environmental DNA

Enabling the DNA detection of marine organisms from microbes to mammals

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Data Management and Visualization

Co-developing training materials to support impactful, data-driven messages

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Related Publications


Rob Dunbar
W.M. Keck Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Trevor Hastie
John A. Overdeck Professor, Professor of Statistics and of Biomedical Data Sciences
Stephen Palumbi
Jane and Marshall Steel Jr. Professor of Marine Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment

Project Partners

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis - logo

Future Earth - logo

Palau Internation Coral Reef Center - logo

The Government of Palau - logo