12 Dec 2017

Palau asks tourists to take eco-pledge

6:44 am on 12 December 2017
A tourist boat at a wharf in Palau

A tourist boat at a wharf in Palau Photo: RNZI

Palau is to seek a pledge from every tourist to the country to protect its environment.

The government has partnered with a volunteer campaign, the Palau Legacy Project, to raise awareness of the environmental effect of mass tourism on Palau.

Palau's population is only about 21,000, but last year nearly 150,000 tourists visited the country.

Under the project, tourists will be asked to sign a pledge when the Palau visa is stamped in their passports.

Outrage about tourism has grown among locals in recent years due to impacts such as more rubbish on beaches, and tourists capturing turtles in order to take selfies with them.

The pledge requires tourists to agree to 'tread lightly, act kindly and explore mindfully', and 'to protect and preserve 'Palauans' 'beautiful island home'.

Palau aims for high-end tourism

Palau aims for high-end tourism Photo: RNZI Walter Zweifel