• Education

PICRC and JICA organized a pilot Ngiwal Ecotour for Melekeok Elementary School students to celebrate World Mangrove Day

The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) celebrated the 8th anniversary of the International Day of the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.

July 26 was declared by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the International Day of the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem. It is also known as World Mangrove Day.  

Mangroves have unique ecological characteristics, and they are vital in helping society adapt to the impacts of climate change as they stabilize the coastal ecosystem, reduce erosion, and capture carbon. There are about 18 mangrove species in Palau and they contribute to the countries biodiversity by providing habitat for numerous species.

PICRC-JICA coastal ecosystem management project and PICRC Outreach team invited grades 6 and 7 students of Melekeok Elementary School to the mangroves at the PAN site in Ngiwal State to teach them about the importance of mangroves and protecting the ecosystem.

The event was fully supported by the state government with speeches by Ngiwal State Governor, Mr. Francisco Melaitau, a member of the national PAN Office, Ms. Joyce K. Beouch, and PICRC’s Interim CEO, Ms. Caryn Lkong Koshiba, and Director of Outreach, Ms. Imade Tellei. After the opening presentation, the students were taken on one of PICRC’s boat along the river for an up-close look at several different mangrove species. The tour lasted around one hour. 

The PICRC-JICA coastal ecosystem management project also provided T-shirts designed by one of PICRC’s researchers for the students and teachers as well as posters for the school.

“We enjoyed taking the students on this tour of the mangroves and have other activities planned for other schools,” said Mr. Kimura Tadashi, Chief Advisor of the project. “Our project will continue to work with both students and communities on the topic of mangroves and the important role that they play for Palau.”