On December 16, 2020, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and American Samoa, announced a newly established partnership between Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) and the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS), with the purpose to better management and engagement practices of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Indo-Pacific region. The announcement was accompanied by a webinar hosted by the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) where leadership from Palau, American Samoa, and the United States gave remarks to reaffirm their joint commitment to ocean conservation and collaboration.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOA-2020-162/12103) took place on September 22, 2020, where PICRC and ONMS committed to conserve and protect both coastal and marine ecosystems, as well as cultural heritage through the implementation of large-scale MPAs.
Now Sister Sanctuaries, PNMS and NMSAS seek to enhance MPA stewardship through the exchange of information and activities meant to improve ecosystem-based management, planning, research, conservation, education, outreach, and sustainable community engagement for both Sanctuaries. Likewise, this partnership seeks to carry out joint activities to understand, enhance, and protect similar resources, while addressing shared conservation challenges and opportunities on a regional scale.
“We are honored to be part of this partnership,” stated PICRC CEO Dr. Yimnang Golbuu. “Collaboration is the key to strengthen global conservation efforts for the benefit of our people and our planet as a whole,” he added.