Palau International Coral Reef Center-PICRC

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Palau International Coral Reef Center

04 September 2015



PICRC completes their annual work plan for next year

On August 18 of this year, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, Department Heads Mingrang Kloulechad and Geraldine Rengiil, researchers, and staff came together to complete their work plan for the 2016 fiscal year. The completed work plan outlines the goals, objectives, milestones, and activities for next year.  The completed work plan will now go to the PICRC Board of Directors for review and approval, which will take place during their meeting scheduled for September 16.

The current work plan will help guide PICRC’s work in achieving the goals set for the upcoming year. These goals are part of PICRC’s Five Year Strategic Plan that began in 2012 and will end in 2017. The four main goals for PICRC’s Five Year Strategic Plan are:  1) PICRC’s Research initiatives have a highly positive impact on conservation and management, providing practitioners with the science and knowledge needed to effectively manage marine resources, 2) PICRC is consistently expanding the understanding of marine and coastal management priorities in Palau and Micronesia to support conservation action 3) PICRC is institutionally effective and efficient with proactive governance and leadership while all staff are skilled, knowledgeable and consistently achieving excellence in their work and 4) PICRC will achieve greater financial stability with sufficient and consistent funding to operate as a Center of Excellence for coral reef research in Palau and Micronesia.

The work planning began with smaller units meeting within the different departments. In these smaller units, the staff reviewed their work and their accomplishments for the previous year.  After the review, the staff looked forward to the coming year and discussed what was needed to be done in order to meet the goals of the plan outlined in the Five Year strategic Plan.  These smaller units then met in their departments to compile and finalize their department plans. Then all the departments within PICRC came together and presented their completed work for review and comments by all the staff and revised and compiled to form the PICRC Annual Work Plan.

Some of the focus set in the work plan for this upcoming year is to bring more students and teachers to the Center and the Palau Aquarium to aid in its education efforts. In addition, there are plans to make improvements and renovations in the aquarium. Research will focus on studies that support management of fisheries, Marine Protected Areas, and climate change impacts while the Administration department will focus on further strengthening the financial condition of the Center.

Like a road map, the work plan will ensure that each goal is met before the end of the current Five Year Strategic Plan. This collective effort of the Board, the CEO, the Department Heads, and the staff will go a long way in helping PICRC achieve its goals for the upcoming year.



25 August 2015



Fishes in Ngemai Conservation Area has more than doubled, according to PICRC researchers

During a community meeting on August 12, 2015 Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) researchers reported that fishes inside Ngemai Conservation Area has more than doubled since 2011. PICRC research team, including Geraldine Rengiil, Marine Gouezo, Evelyn Otto, Shirley Koshiba and Arius Merep visited Ngiwal State Labk Center for a community meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to present the results on their initial assessment of Ngemai in Ngiwal State to its community members. Nearly 30 people attended the meeting, including Ngiwal State Governor Ellender Ngirameketii, Legislators, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Coordinator, conservation officers, students, and other community members. The community meeting was held in response to a request by Ngiwal State to present PICRC’s report on their study of Ngemai.

The purpose of the survey conducted by PICRC was to assess the different habitats of Ngemai to help determine the effectiveness of the area overtime. Types of fishes, sizes, and abundance were surveyed along with sea cucumbers, sea grass, and corals. The results presented during the community meeting by PICRC researchers Shirley Koshiba and Marine Gouezo showed that the fore reef habitat had 2.5 times more fishes observed than in a previous survey done in 2011 within the same habitat of Ngemai. The channel, which was not previously surveyed, also harbored similar fish densities than the fore reef habitat. During the meeting, fishermen representatives told PICRC researchers that they observed an increase in fishes around Ngemai. The results shared by the researchers tell us that Ngemai is thriving and that the conservation area works.

“The surveys that were conducted in Ngemai and the community presentations are part of PICRC’s efforts to conduct research and share them with stakeholders to support management”, according to the Head of the Research and Aquarium Department, Ms. Geraldine Rengiil. She further states, “One of the main focuses in PICRC is to study marine protected areas and share the results that can be used to guide conservation efforts in Palau.”

More information on this report can be accessed through the PICRC website (picrc.org) under Research Publications and Technical Reports. Please contact Ines Kintoki at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for further questions or comments.



25 August 2015



New SDA and PMA Teachers Visit PICRC

Over 30 teachers and staff from Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Elementary School and Palau Mission Academy (PMA) along with their school principals, vice principals, and sponsors attended a presentation at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) Kedarm conference room during their visit to the Palau Aquarium on August 9, 2015. The presentation was about PICRC’s Research projects and Education programs available at the Center that can be utilized by educators in the field of marine science.

One of PICRC’s goals is to consistently expand knowledge of Palau’s marine environment to the public. This was an excellent opportunity for PICRC to demonstrate its expertise and knowledge to school teachers. The schools were interested in learning about the different research carried out by the Center and other programs, information, and materials available that could assist them in their classroom curriculum. The Annual Arts and Tides Calendar contest was one of the programs highlighted during their meeting.

An important objective of the Center is to be a “major interactive environmental awareness tool” to be “utilized by educators, students, community members, as well as visitors to Palau”. PICRC would like to encourage more schools and teachers to utilize the Center’s facilities and expertise in teaching marine science to their students.

Please contact Ines Kintoki at 488-6950 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.



21 August 2015



PICRC Awarded $110,000 from the Coral Reef Initiative Program

The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) was awarded $ 110,000 from the Office of Insular Affairs’ Coral Reef Initiative Program under the United States Department of the Interior. On August 18, Esther Kia’aina, Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, announced grants totaling nearly one million dollars that were awarded to nine coral reef project and initiatives from Palau, America Samoa, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Pohnpei, Marshall Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). PICRC was among the nine and the only project from Palau selected.

The grant awarded to PICRC will focus on characterizing and managing the recovery of Palau’s coral reefs following the catastrophic damage from super-typhoons Bopha and Haiyan. Palau, especially the east coast was severely damaged by the typhoon, losing on average eighty five percent of its corals. While the typhoons had devastating effects on Palau’s coral reefs, the damaged areas provides an opportunity to study the important factors that lead to successful recovery of coral reefs. This grant will allow PICRC researchers to examine the different physical and biological characteristics on the reefs that are necessary for successful recovery. Once these factors are understood, Palau can manage damaged reefs to ensure the conditions are right for recovery.

In response to the awarding of this grant, PICRC’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Yimnang Golbuu states, “We are delighted to receive this grant from the office of Insular Affair’s Coral Reef Initiative Program. The awarding of this grant demonstrates the recognition of PICRC’s research capacity and the importance of their work in supporting coral reef management. This grant will go a long way in helping PICRC and Palau improve the health and management of its coral reefs.”