PICRC holds judging for 2020 Arts and Tides Calendar Contest  

On April 12, 2019, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) held its annual judging for the Arts and Tides Calendar Contest. The local artists who took part in the judging included Mr. Benson Adelbai, Ms. Elsei Tellei, Mrs. Mandy Etpison, Mr. Jan De Hartog, and Mrs. Carol Whalen. The judging was based on three main criteria: the use of color, creativity, and most importantly, the incorporation of the theme.

The theme for the 2020 Arts and Tides Calendar is, “Our Ocean’s wealth extends from coral reefs to the deep blue and beyond”. The theme was chosen to remind everyone about the vast biodiversity found in the waters surrounding Palau. Most of us are familiar with the benefits and riches of our marine nearshore reefs, but the wealth of our oceans reaches far beyond. From marine mammals to sharks and large pelagic fish, Palau’s waters swarm with life that needs protection. read more

PICRC Researcher, Shirley Koshiba, completes her Masters in Environmental Sciences

Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) researcher, Ms. Shirley Koshiba, the daughter of Fritz and Martha Koshiba, has completed her Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences focusing on Socio-economics from the University of Tsukuba in Japan. In 2016, Ms. Koshiba received a full scholarship through the Master’s and Internship Program of the Pacific Leaders’ Educational Assistance for Development of States (Pacific-LEADS), a scholarship program of the Government of Japan.

Throughout her program, Ms. Koshiba worked under the supervision of Professor Takeshi Mizunoya, an expert in environmental economics, to conduct research on Palau’s tourism-driven economy. A heavy reliance on tourism can be burdensome for such a small island nation. To address this burden, Palau initiated the Green Fee – or the Palau Pristine Environment Fee (as it has recently been renamed). This tax was implemented to offset some of the impacts that come from increased tourism by shifting from mass tourism to high-end tourism. read more

New PICRC socio-economic study suggests increased MPA awareness in Koror State

On March 28th, PICRC released a report documenting the results from the baseline socio-economic study conducted in Koror State. This study was designed to assess the community’s perceptions of their Protected Areas Network (PAN) sites. The results of this study can be used by Koror State PAN Office to guide their outreach and awareness program.

Often, the success of a marine protected area is determined by the evaluation of ecological and biological indicators. While these are important factors, understanding the human dimension of conservation is a critical component of effective marine management. Community support for marine protection can play an instrumental role in the overall well-being of a site. read more

New paper by PICRC addresses ocean acidification impacts and mitigation strategies

Globally, the ocean absorbs nearly one-third of total carbon emissions released into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, since the industrial revolution, this process of carbon sequestration has drastically altered ocean chemistry. By the turn of the century, ocean acidity is expected to increase 150% over pre-industrial levels.

In a paper recently published in the journal, Regional Studies in Marine Science, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) CEO, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, along with a team of international experts, identified climatic and non-climatic related stressors that have had impacts on coral reef communities throughout a selection of islands in the Pacific Basin. Authors reviewed these impacts, the potential costs of disturbances, and a range of actions that have been implemented so far. read more

PICRC begins surveying microplastics on Palau’ s reefs

Plastic pollution is no longer just a problem for populated coastal areas. Today, ocean currents have distributed plastic waste to even the most remote corners of our planet.  To address this threat, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) has partnered with the Scientific Center of Monaco (CMS) to assess the potential environmental risks that derive from plastic pollution.

While the pervasiveness of large marine debris is an obvious problem for sea life, microplastics present an environmental hazard of growing concern. Microplastics are the tiny, plastic particles that come from larger degrading plastics, and can be so small that they are completely invisible to the naked eye. read more