22 Dec 2017

Palau's president says protecting ocean a global effort

11:26 am on 22 December 2017

Palau's president said protecting the ocean is a global responsibility.

The President of Palau Tommy Remengesau Jr.

The President of Palau Tommy Remengesau Jr. Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

Tommy Remengesau was talking to the BBC about his country's new eco-pledge system.

Seeking to mitigate the environmental impact of mass tourism, Palau now requires a pledge from every tourist to the country to protect its environment.

Tourists are asked to sign the pledge when the Palau visa is stamped in their passports.

Mr Remengesau said he encourages other countries to adopt this type of idea.

According to him, it's important that future generations become aware about the need to protect the environment, especially the oceans.

"The ocean is like a sick person so we do have to partner in the challenge to not only restore the damages but really to prevent the environment from being further damaged or destroyed. we all need to put our efforts together into this."

A couple of weeks into the new pledge system, Mr Remengesau said the awareness level is high among tourists.

"We have been monitoring the airport, surveying the feedback from them, and everyone is saying we didn't know that this information or facts were there before," he said.

"Now we know it, we'll conduct ourselves better. But more importantly, they're saying that they're also going to spread the message to their fellow travellers and children."

A file photo of a sting ray.

A file photo of a sting ray. Photo: smokedsalmon/123RF