18 Aug 2011

Cook Islands and Palau make gifts on Forum anniversary

11:19 am on 18 August 2011

The governments of the Cook Islands and Palau have presented cultural items to the Pacific Islands Forum to mark its 40th anniversary.

The gift from the Cook Islands is a storyboard wall carving, depicting the historic migration of the country's ancestors on the seven vaka that departed from Rarotonga nearly 800 years ago.

It aims to convey the sea faring nature of the Polynesian peoples.

Palau has given a wooden statue of a dugong.

Its head of delegation, Jeffrey Antol, says the dugong is a very important aspect of Palauan culture.

He says Palau has one of the most isolated dugong populations in the world and is making extra efforts to conserve them by enacting legislation to prohibit the killing or possession of dugong in any way.