On June 10, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) held its Inception Workshop at the Tommy Remengesau Jr. Building at the center. The inception workshop was the official project launching for strengthening management of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The meeting was a way to raise awareness and increase the support for the PNMS project among stakeholders, understand the current management and challenges, and explain the management arrangements, roles and responsibilities of the implementing agencies and all parties involved to ensure the success of the PNMS. There were about 51 attendees from partner agencies as well as members of the PNMS Advisory Committee. The workshop was organized by PICRC, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment (MAFE), and Ministry of Justice (MOJ), in which they were able to give a brief management overview for the project.
The meeting was held locally with virtual participation from officials with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Sessions of the meeting included reviewing the project’s annual work plan and the Project Steering Committee officially approving the project document. In attendance for the Project Steering Committee and high-level segment were His Excellency, Mr. President Surangel Whipps Jr., representing MAFE, PICRC CEO- Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, Attorney General Ernestine Rengiil representing MOJ and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Kevin Petrini, who was able to join the meeting virtually. The endorsement of the project document by the Project Steering Committee initiates the implementation of this $1,826,484 project within the next four years.
The next step will be to conduct an induction workshop for the project’s main implementers to better understand and meet GEF and UNDP reporting requirements. The workshop will also be an opportunity for project managers and implementers to build capacity in the areas of monitoring and evaluation and other aspects of implementing this 4-year project.