Since August 2019, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) researchers have begun conducting their biennial marine protected area (MPA) surveys in all states who are members of the Protected Areas Network (PAN) around Palau. Since the baseline surveys conducted in 2015, this will be researchers’ third time surveying each state. The purpose of surveying is to determine whether the designated MPAs are effective in preserving biodiversity and boosting fish population. Results from these assessments will help guide MPA managers actions and decisions.
The Republic of Palau recently concluded the hosting of the 42nd meeting of the United States Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF), which took place from September 8-13, 2019. The USCRTF was created to guide U.S. efforts to preserve coral reef ecosystems. Members of the USCRTF include leadership from 12 Federal agencies, seven U.S. states, territories, and commonwealths, and three Freely Associated States. This is the second time Palau has hosted the meeting, the first being in 2005. Both 2005 and 2019 are the only times that the meeting has been held outside a U.S. State, Territory, or Commonwealth.
(L to R: Jenna Mersai, Accounting Officer, and Joyra Shmull, Facility & Maintenance Supervisor)
From August 26 to 30, 2019, Jenna Mersai and Joyra Shmull of the Administration Department of Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) had the opportunity to attend the 30th Annual Association of Pacific Island Auditors (APIPA) Conference. The conference was held in Guam, and a delegation of members from several different government and semi-government entities across Palau, including PICRC, were able to go.
On Tuesday August 13, 2019, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) was awarded with a 326,000 USD grant from Oceans 5—a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA)—to support Phase 2 of the project titled The First Nationwide Marine Sanctuary in Palau. In addition to supporting PICRC in the administration, education and outreach of the PNMS, a portion of this grant will support the work of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, on the development of the domestic fishery, and the Ministry of Justice on their work on the enforcement of PNMS.
The Palau International Coral Reef Center believes strongly in hiring highly competent staff and investing in their continued professional development. Jenna Mersai and Lbong Walter, both under the Administration Department at PICRC, had the opportunity to participate in a professional development course offered by the Graduate School USA entitled “Accounting for Government Entities.” This course was held for four days from July 15 to 18 at the Marine Law compound in Malakal, Koror.
The course included lessons on bookkeeping, following transactions through the accounting cycle, understanding basic concepts of internal control, and understanding the unique features of governmental accounting.