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.