On August 09, 2019, Member of the German Parliament, Ulrich Lechte, visited the Palau International Coral Reef Center. Accompanied by the Honorary Consul in Palau, Thomas Schubert, MP Lechte was given a tour of the aquarium by Aquarium Director, Ilebrang Olkeriil, and was later taken to the Rock Islands, UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a trip guided by researcher Lincy Marino. Throughout his visit to the Center, MP Lechte was able to learn about coral reef ecosystems, admire Palau’s natural beauty and learn the threats and challenges that the region is facing.
Prior to his visit to Palau, MP Lechte attended the 2019 annual APPU (Asian-Pacifi Parliamentarians’ Union) meeting held in Taipei City, Taiwan where challenges faced by the Asia-Pacific region, such as natural disaster management and collaboration, were addressed. MP Lechte’s itinerary in Palau included numerous meetings with Government Officials and visits to several Museums and Centers. As chairman of the Subcommittee on the United Nations, International Organizations and Globalization, MP Lechte’s visit is of great significance as he is the first member of the German Parliament to visit the islands. His agenda includes traveling to Australia, New Zealand and Oceania with the purpose of learning more about the region. On August 19 2019, he will be part of the German-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Round Table discussion where MP Lechte will discuss ways to make this region more visible in German politics
The PICRC was honored to host such a distinguished guest and hopes that the relationship between Germany and the Republic of Palau strengthens so that, through collaboration, marine ecosystems can be preserved.