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latest news & events

PAN Fund Volunteers to Support Law Enforcement Explorer Program (LEEP)
October 8, 2020

With efforts to support the Palauan Youth, the Protected Areas Network Fund (PAN Fund) Mr. Duke Gibson, Site Advisor volunteered to assist and conduct activities for the duration of the program. The first kick-off event was held on June 21-27, 2020 at Koror Side. The activities ranged from formation, roll call, singing of the Palau National Anthem to listening to motivational speakers. PAN Fund would like to acknowledge the 2020 Summer Camp O.N.E LEEP Program’s successful event and will continue to support the program throughout this year.

The Narcotics Enforcement Agency (NEA) partnered with Juvenile Justice Office (JJO) to spearhead this year’s O.N.E (Osisechakl. Ngomesuub. Emesmechokl) Law Enforcement Explorer Program (LEEP). This program is aimed to provide activities to keep the youth busy and off the streets while school is out. The program included physical activities, disciplinary approach and educational aspect that in hopes will enlighten the Palau youth and motivate them towards an optimistic future.

pan fund leep volunteers


PAN Fund’s Grants Officer completes Master’s Program
August 2020

jovalyn ilong koshiba-ngiraingasMrs. Jovalyn Ilong Koshiba-Ngiraingas graduates with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii earlier this summer. Completion of her degree was made possible through the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge (BRMC) Scholarship. Back in 2019, Mrs. Koshiba-Ngiraingas was fortunate enough to be chosen as a recipient of this BRMC Scholarship. She was able to graduate six months earlier than originally expected. Due to the global pandemic, Chaminade University of Honolulu conducted a virtual graduation ceremony.

This past year, she was able to manage her full-time job as a Grants Program Officer at the Protected Areas Network Fund (PAN Fund) on top of being a full-time graduate student. It has been quite the journey for Mrs. Koshiba-Ngiraingas. She put her graduate studies on hold when she decided to move back home from Hawaii to Palau to spend time with her father, Mr. Fritz Koshiba, who encouraged her to finish what she started despite the move. With the BRMC Scholarship, her father’s wishes, her passion, and determination, Mrs. Koshiba-Ngiraingas pushed onward; attended virtual lectures and group discussions at odd hours due to the major time difference but managed to graduate with high marks.

Mrs. Koshiba-Ngiraingas will continue to work for PAN Fund by overseeing various grants, developing marketing and communications strategies for the organization, and engaging with partners and stakeholders for PAN. She wishes to contribute to the Micronesia Challenge (MC) goals as well as explore other innovative ways to establish a robust sustainable financing mechanism for the Palau Protected Areas Network. Mrs. Koshiba-Ngiraingas humbly thanks all those that made this major milestone in her life possible, especially to God; her parents, her siblings, and her husband. The Protected Areas Network would also like to congratulate Mrs. Koshiba-Ngiraingas on her achievement. May this inspire more young, passionate, and aspiring resource managers to continue higher education and contribute to the betterment of Palau.


PAN Programs & Partners Collaborate on Reforestation Project
March 19, 2020

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) Ongedechuul System of Conservation Areas (OSCA)alongside numerous partners (Ebiil Society, PCS, US Embassy Science Fellows, and Ngatpang, Aimeliik, and Melekeok PAN) coordinated and launched a Forest Restoration Project to reforest 100 acres of bauxite terraces in Ngardmau. Over 1,000 trees native to Palau that can withstand that kind of terrain were planted with the help of Ngardmau Elementary school students. Ngardmau PAN and partners will continue to plant on the bare terraces. This activity was also in commemoration of International Day of Forests that was celebrated on March 21, 2020.

PAN Programs & Partners Collaborate on Reforestation Project


Youth Conference Pre-Activity
March 7, 2020

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) in partnership with the Palau Conservation Society (PCS) facilitated a pre-conference activity for over 100 high school students across Palau at Airai’s Medal Ngediull Marine Protected Area. Before heading out to explore the MPA’s diverse habitats, two Airai Chiefs shared stories about the significance of Medal Ngediull and why the site is an important MPA to the people of Airai and Palau. Then Tom Bowling, CEO and founder of Biota Marine Life Nursery donated and released about 200 juvenile rabbit fish in the MPA with the students and talked about sustainable fisheries management and sustainable aquaculture.

Youth Conference Pre-Activity

This engaging and interactive activity increased students’ knowledge about Palau’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and how they are impacted by marine pollution. This pre-conference activity was held in preparation for the Palau Youth Conference that was held one week later on 12 -13 March 2020. The experience from the pre-activity was to help students focus discussions about MPA’s during the conference.

We would like to thank all our partners for pitching in to make this happen. Some of these partners include MCCA, PCS, MOE, and PAN rangers and volunteers from Airai, Ngarchelong, Aimeliik, Ngatpang, and Ngchesar who had worked tirelessly with the setup and safety days leading up to this trip! And special thanks to the Airai historians who shared their traditional knowledge about the significance of Medal Ngediull.


PAN and Partners Streamline Terrestrial Management Efforts
March 4, 2020

PAN and Partners Streamline Terrestrial Management Efforts

In efforts to connect numerous efforts in terrestrial management, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Association of State PAN Coordinators (ASPC) met for a second time in a series of meetings with various partners such as MNRET, PCS, BNM, Ebiil Society, and the US Embassy to form a working group to collaborate on streamlining Palau’s terrestrial management efforts. This working group is critical as it brings together PAN’s resource managers, terrestrial management experts, studies, and efforts to share knowledge and promote networking to fill in gaps concerning management of terrestrial resources, focused primarily on Palau’s bird and terrestrial species in Babeldaob. PAN will work closely with MNRET and its partners to develop a more holistic approach to effectively managing and safeguarding Palau’s terrestrial resources.


PAN’s ASPC Strengthens PAN Programs in Regular Meetings
February 28, 2020

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) Association of State PAN Coordinators (ASPC) met with the Debedebokel Organization along with the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) during their ASPC regular meeting. NPA and Debedebokel requested to collaborate with ASPC and their state governments to conduct trainings to help locate and properly remove explosive remnants of war (ERW) and unidentified explosive ordinance (UXO) that may be found in their states and PAN sites. The NPA will work with ASPC to schedule site visits and trainings necessary to remove potential ERW’s and UXO’s in their states throughout the year.

PAN’s ASPC Strengthens PAN Programs in Regular Meetings

ASPC also discussed training opportunities for their programs, calendar of events, and more collaboration opportunities with partners. ASPC meets on a regular basis every two months to share and learn from other state PAN programs by regularly updating their state’s PAN progress, challenges, recommendations, and solutions to move forward, thereby further strengthening the Network. For more information about ASPC or possible collaboration projects with them, please contact them at aspc.palau@gmail.com or palaupan@gmail.com.

PAN Strengthens and Expands Partnership with US Embassy
February 25, 2020

The Protected Areas Network’s (PAN) Melekeok Conservation Network (MCN) hosted a site visit in Ngardok Nature Reserve with numerous partners from Ebiil Society, PAN Office, Ngardmau PAN, US Forest Services, US Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS), and Science Fellows through the US Embassy. The site visit was an opportunity for these partners to get together and highlight past collaboration and future expanding partnership and projects. Throughout the years, The US Forest Service, NRCS, and Science Fellows through the US Embassy have provided countless resources and trainings opportunities for  MCN  staff in Palau and abroad, provided funds to build its Nursery, donated erosion control devices, and setup Ngardok as the first Forest Dynamic Plot site in Palau, among other things. Through this partnership with the US Embassy, PAN is strengthening its capacity to better manage its protected areas. It is the hope that these opportunities will expand in Melekeok, Ngardmau, and to other PAN sites.

PAN Strengthens and Expands Partnership with US Embassy


PAN Strengthens Program through Leadership Forums
February 20 - March 19, 2020

In efforts to gain proactive leadership support for the Network, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) has continued to meet with State leadership to strengthen community engagement aimed at reinforcing stakeholder support of PAN sites. A PAN State forum is a space for PAN Office, PAN Fund, and State elected and traditional leadership to come together to discuss and understand roles each of the them plays in the PAN program as it progresses.  To date, PAN has met with six states, namely Ngaraard, Sonsorol, Aimeliik, and recently during February and March, PAN was able to conduct State forums with Ngatpang (20 Feb 2020), Ngchesar (5 Mar 2020), and Ngeremlengui (19 Mar 2020). During these forums, PAN was able to do an overview and status of the state’s PAN program and discussed numerous items such as funding, challenges, and opportunities to further strengthen their PAN program. Some of the opportunities discussed included sustainable financing, investment opportunities, competitive grants, and scholarships available to all State PAN Programs. As the year progresses, PAN will work with the remaining states to schedule and conduct their forums.

PAN Strengthens Program through Leadership Forums


PAN Bids Farewell to US Embassy Science Fellow
February 14, 2020

PAN Bids Farewell to US Embassy Science FellowStacy Schuur, a US Embassy Science Fellow who served for three months in Palau (18 Nov 2019 – 14 Feb 2020) had the opportunity to work with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET) and the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Office on various initiative and projects, notably the recently held PAN Conference.  Ms. Schuur’s background and experience also helped MNRET and the Our Ocean Secretariat on the program for Our Ocean Conference 2020 as well as assisting the Tuna Diplomacy Youth Leadership Program students with their social marketing campaign to link fishers with restaurants to track and promote sustainable fishing practices through RARE’s Our Fish App in conjunction with Ebiil Society. When asked about her experience in Palau, Ms. Schuur expresses, “It was an honor and pleasure to serve as a US Embassy Science Fellow working with MNRET… As beautiful as the nature is in Palau, the highlight for me is always the people. I truly enjoyed our time together, learning a bit about the culture and am forever grateful for being welcomed as family.”


PAN at the HPO Symposium
February 12, 2020

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) joined the first day of the two-day Bi-Annual Historic Preservation Symposium co-hosted by the Bureau of Cultural and Historical Preservation (BCHP) and Ngatpang State. Held at the Ngatpang State office, PAN took the opportunity to share its history, its multi-level structure, its roles and functions, as well as highlighted partnerships and efforts being done towards the protection of Palau’s natural and cultural resources. More importantly, PAN shared how its work with PAN states supports BCHP and Palau’s aim to preserve cultural and historical heritage. This space was important for PAN as it allowed its work to be communicated to relevant stakeholders beyond its usual audience. PAN would like to thank BCHP for giving us the opportunity to extend our reach further through this symposium. Through its Mission, PAN will strive to protect Palau’s natural and cultural resources for future generations to come.

PAN at the HPO Symposium


PAN Enforcement to the Rescue
February 5-15, 2020

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) Rangers were called in to help in two Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in February. In addition to getting trainings to enforce State PAN laws and regulation, PAN Rangers will continue to get training and support in unfortunate incidences such as these:

(1) PAN State Rangers from Ngardmau, Ngarchelong, Ngaraard, Ngiwal, Melekeok, Ngchesar, and Airai State assisted the Division of Marine Law Enforcement (DMLE) under Ministry of Justice (MOJ) in a SAR operation in Ngkeklau, Ngaraard between the 5-15 February, 2020. According to Acting Chief of DMLE, Emerson Nobuo, the operation was the largest SAR that has been conducted to date and gives credit to the PAN Rangers that assisted with the incident.

(2) Ngarchelong PAN Director and its Rangers responded to concerns over three missing fishermen that went out earlier in the day and had not returned. Due to strong winds and heavy rain, the fishermen lost their way home. After consultation with Ollei fishermen, Ngarchelong PAN Rangers set out on a SAR mission. Utilizing their training, experience, and knowledge about wind, ocean current, and weather knowledge, the Rangers calculated and predicted their location and successfully located the fishermen and brought them back to safety. The three fishermen and the Ngarchelong community expresses their appreciation for this heroic rescue made by Ngarchelong PAN Rangers. The Ngarchelong PAN team include its PAN Director, Darwin Mista, PAN Rangers Adara Temong, Pier Olsudong, Raylan Roman, Toya Ewatel, Junior Temong, Clifford Osima, Snider Skang, and Skiwo Johnson.

PAN Celebrates World Wetlands Day
February 3, 2020

In commemoration of World Wetlands Day (WWD), PAN’s Melekeok Conservation Network (MCN) organized an art contest for students attending Melekeok Elementary School (MES) to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity in lake Ngardok, an important wetland area in Palau. Together with partners, MCN held an awarding ceremony at MES to announce the winners of the art contest. The winning artwork will be featured in an upcoming seasonal calendar that will be created by MCN. Winner and runner ups of the contest are as follows: First Place winner with $100 prize went to 8th grader, Jesse Takawo; Second Place winner with $75 prize went to 8th grader, Jaeneth Martin; and Third Place winner with $50 prize went to 8th grader, Omtab Lorenzo.

PAN Celebrates World Wetlands Day

This event was successful in raising awareness to Palau’s youth about the importance of wetlands. Wetlands are among the world most threatened ecosystems but the services they provide are significant to humanity. For this reason, MCN created this contest to help its program raise awareness of the importance of Palau’s wetlands and its conservation. PAN and MCN would like to thank and recognized the partners that made the event successful. These partners included Melekeok Elementary School (MES), Palau Conservation Society (PCS), and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET) that helped with judging the art contest and donating contest prizes and goodie bags. On Monday February 3, 2020, MCN together with partners held an awarding ceremony at MES to announce the winners of the art contest.

The theme of the contest was ‘Ngardok Biodiversity: Why it Matters’. It was adapted from this years’ international theme of World Wetlands Day: ‘Wetlands and Biodiversity’. MCN developed a set of criteria for the art contest and judged the students’ art based on visual impact, technique, creativity, color, overall presentation, etc. Other winners of the Art Contest included:1st grade runner up is Vanlly K. Nover; 2nd grade runner up is Gema; 3rd grade runner up is Rie Mekreos; 4th grade runner up is Moriaz Kingzio; 5th grade runner up is Micaiah Masayos; 6th grade runner up is Kalea Benjamin; 7th grade runner up is MJ Tulop; 8th grade runner up is Jezaniah Leeroy.


PAN Conducts Finance and Reporting Training
January 15, 2020

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) put together a financial report and tracking tool training for the Association of State PAN Coordinators (ASPC). The ASPC is made up of State PAN Program managers from all 16 states and are required to submit quarterly reports to PAN Office and PAN Fund to be able to trigger disbursement to their program to maintain management of their PAN sites throughout the year. This was a great opportunity for the new PAN coordinators and the more seasoned ones to go through the reporting process and tracking tool together all the while collectively sharing new approaches and challenges of the tracking tool and the reporting process. The intended outcome of the training was to make sure PAN Office, PAN Fund, and all coordinators have the same understanding on how to use the tracking tool and make sure PAN programs can capture their activities and reflect them on their quarterly reports.

PAN Conducts Finance and Reporting Training


PAN Fund Honors Board of Director Sue Miller Taei in Resolution
January 4, 2020

Mrs. Sue Miller-TaeiThe Protected Areas Network (PAN) extends its condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Mrs. Sue Miller-Taei, a member of the Palau PAN Fund Board of Directors, who passed away earlier this year on January 4, 2020. In honor of her memory and the many years of valuable service and contributions during her tenure on the PAN Fund Board, the PAN Fund Board of Directors adopted a resolution to recognize Mrs. Sue Miller-Taei. The board acknowledges and affirms the honorable privilege of the breadth and wealth of experience portrayed by Mrs. Miller-Taei in conservation and management that helped in the progress and development of the Palau pan fund and the network as a whole.

For over 5 years, Mrs. Miller-Taei served on the PAN Fund Board of Directors. Throughout her tenure, she exemplified leadership excellence and commitment to biodiversity conservation beyond the Palau PAN, as evident in many local and regional conservation initiatives she’s been involved in.  In addition to serving on the PAN Fund Board, Mrs. Miller-Taei was the Executive Director of the New Zealand and Pacific Islands and Ocean Program under Conservation International. She had long worked in Samoa, New Zealand, and the Pacific Island region for many years.


PAN Hosts PAN Appreciation Event
December 12, 2019

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) held a small PAN Appreciation Event to thank all those who worked tirelessly in preparation for the PAN Conference that was held in late November this year. Over 50 PAN employees and partners gathered at the Koror Side of the Japan-Palau Friendship Bridge to share a meal, engage in team building exercises, and get to know each other before the new year begins.

The event was able to foster team building by strengthening existing bonds and encourage better working relationships among PAN States, PAN Fund, and PAN Office through its team building activities. This event was also an opportunity for knowledge sharing and networking among state PAN employees. The Appreciation was a much-needed event as it helped boost morale by showing PAN and its partners that each one of them is a valuable asset to the PAN program.

PAN would like to thank all those who have supported the Network throughout the years, and we look forward to building stronger partnerships to better defend and preserve Palau’s natural and cultural resources.

PAN Hosts PAN Appreciation Event

 


Two States Presented Brand-New Boats from PAN to Strengthen its Enforcement Efforts
December 10, 2019

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) held a small ceremony to hand-over two brand-new 25-footer, 4 stroke boats with trailer for Ngiwal and Koror State. Based on the state’s requests, PAN was able to procure said vessels that will be used to assist both states implement activities called for by their management plans such as monitoring, research, surveillance, and outreach activities. Both boats were manufactured by NECO Yamaha based on consultations among PAN and member state needs that will help PAN convey official enforcement authority of their conservation sites and environmental regulations.

brand new boats

Upon handover of the boats, PAN presented the PAN Rangers Manual, that was endorsed by Minister Umiich Sengebau of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, & Tourism (MNRET), that now requires all PAN programs to follow standard uniforms, signage, and large assets set by PAN that include the standardized ranger boats presented to Ngiwal and Koror.

This hand-over is part of a bigger standardization project which is aimed in advancing and standardizing law enforcement presence and public awareness for all PAN sites. The project will establish uniform PAN visual signage to promote a professional brand image and convey consistent message about PAN’s conservation effort, make official enforcement authority clear, promote camaraderie, and create favorable profile of the PAN.

Present at the ceremony representing Ngiwal was Governor Ellender Ngirameketii, members of its Legislature, members of its PAN Board, and its PAN Rangers clad in their brand-new ranger uniforms. Representing Koror State Government (KSG) was Director Jennifer Olegeriil of the Department of Conservation and Law Enforcement (DCLE) along with Collin Joseph, Coastal Program Manager of DCLE, Joleen Ngoriakl, KSG Chief of Staff, and their State Rangers. Upon receiving the boats, Governor Ngirameketii, Director Olegeriil, and Chief of Staff Ngoriakl expresses their gratitude and appreciation for being able to receive their boats to help strengthen the work in and around their PAN sites.

It is the hope that this hand-over will provide clear responsibility and purpose for conservation and resource managers about their role as stewards of the environment who is charged with the conservation and protection of Palau’s unique biodiversity.


PAN Conducts Annual State Forums to Strengthen State PAN Programs
December 2019

Conservation and effective management of Palau’s natural resources requires strong support from the community. In efforts to gain proactive support for the Network, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) has been conducting annual PAN State forums as part of efforts to strengthen community engagement aimed at reinforcing stakeholder support of PAN sites. A PAN State forum is a space for PAN Office, PAN Fund, and State elected and traditional leadership to come together to discuss and understand roles each of the them plays in the PAN program as it progresses. 

In early December, PAN was able to conduct State forums with Ngaraard and Sonsorol States. During these two forums, PAN was able to do an overview and status of the state’s PAN program and discussed numerous items such as funding, challenges, and opportunities to further strengthen their PAN program. Some of the opportunities discussed included sustainable financing, investment opportunities, competitive grants, and scholarships available to all State PAN Programs.

The purpose of these annual State forums is to engage leadership on a regular basis to help them understand the PAN process better so that they can better support and further strengthen their state PAN Programs. In addition to the annual State forums, PAN will make courtesy visits to new state leadership when administration changes. As the year progresses, PAN will work with the remaining 14 states to schedule and conduct their forums.


PAN Celebrates 16 Years of Achievements during a Two-Day Conference
November 25-26, 2019

On November 26, 2003, President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. signed the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Act, RPPL 6-39, that ultimately shaped conservation in Palau into what it is today. The PAN Act provided a framework for Palau to allow multilevel collaboration and establish a coordinated network of marine and terrestrial protected areas that will address resource management needs and protect biodiversity, habitats, and natural resources.

On its 16th Anniversary, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) held a two-day conference from November 25-26, 2019 at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center to showcase PAN’s progress since the signing of this historic PAN Act. With the conference theme, “Celebrating 16 Years of Achievements, Innovation, and Inspiration”, the event was able to highlight major achievements from PAN sites, including the latest inclusion of the 16th and final state, Sonsorol, to join the Network of protected areas, totaling 36 sites across Palau.

PAN Celebrates 16 Years of Achievements during a Two-Day Conference

The Conference was opened by Minister of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism, F. Umiich Sengebau. The conference highlights on the first day included group presentations in the morning from site managers on their site’s progress, lessons learned, way forward, and partnerships they’ve established. In the afternoon, the participants of the conference, nearly 300, broke out into six breakout sessions that focused on validating and prioritizing recommendations on specific focal areas to improve PAN. These focal areas included (1) Governance, (2) Enforcement, (3) Capacity Enhancement, (4) Sustainable Financing, (5) Community Engagement, and (6) Youth Perspectives. During the Youth perspectives sessions, Ann Singeo from Ebiil Society and Ebiil Juniors facilitated over 75 youth that discussed what they think of conservation in Palau and what role they wanted to play in the future of conservation. After the breakout sessions, closing remarks were made by Chairman of the Governors’ Association, Honorable Governor Temmy Shmull.

On the second day, nearly 200 participants at the conference witnessed a thrilling demonstration of the unveiling of PAN Ranger Uniforms, where Rangers clad in brand new Network uniforms marched into the conference venue. The new uniforms are part of a standardization project aimed in advancing and standardizing law enforcement presence, promoting a professional brand image, and make official enforcement authority clear. In addition, a moving video tribute of PAN employees to honor those who are no longer with us was presented. Following the tribute was opening remarks made by Rubekul Belau, Beouch Demei Obakrairur. Next was a captivating keynote speech by His Excellency, President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. Finally, special guest speaker to share regional perspective on the Palau PAN Program was Mr. Willy Kostka, Executive Director of the Micronesia Conservation Trust.

Also on the second day, the discussions and recommendations that came out of the sessions on the previous day was presented during the report back session to a panel of relevant decision makers and partner agencies that would be able to help make the recommendations a reality. The panel was facilitated by Minister Umiich Sengebau from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism (MNRET). Some of the numerous recommendations included (1) Developing a register of competencies for PAN positions and standardizing them across the Network,  (2) Maintaining partnership and collaboration with traditional leaders to strengthen community surveillance, education, and awareness, (3) Adopting a Human Resource Policy for the Network, (4) Developing a Conservation Academy, (5) Removing the two million dollar limit on PAN collection of the green fee, and (6) Assisting the youth develop a common platform for environmental protection and ensure their space for advocacy and policy management. To close the two-day conference, Honorable Delegate Sebastian Marino was able to deliver closing remarks.

All in all, the conference was a success as it was able to bring together a diverse group of people that comprised of PAN personnel, community members, youth, local and elected leaders, and relevant partners to share the impact of PAN on the livelihoods of community members, share PAN progress and contribution to local, regional, and international commitments, and increase public awareness of the PAN sites.

PAN would like to thank all community members, sponsors, local, regional, and international partners, and decision makers for attending the conference and contributing to the rich discussions that helped make the conference a success, thus strengthening Palau’s PAN Program. We look forward to renewed commitment and actions from all stakeholders to move the PAN program into the right direction to help Palau continue to protect and preserve its natural and cultural resources for generations to come.


PAN Awards Scholarship Recipients to Enhance Capacity Building in Sustainable Financing
November 2019

scholarship awarded

The Protected Areas Network (PAN) awarded scholarships, through its PAN Scholarship Program, to two Finance Officers, Jun Ushibata from PAN Fund and Nicole D. Maech from PAN Office, two PAN site managers, Omar Faustino from Melekeok Conservation Network, Losii Samsel from Aimeliik System of Conservation Areas and PAN Administrative Officer, Katsumi Abia Soalablai from the Ngermeskang Bird Sanctuary in Ngeremlengui, to attend various trainings at the 19th Asia Pacific Association for Fiduciary Studies (APAFS) in Manila, Philippines from November 17-22, 2019. The trainings they attended provided insights to the basics of investments, terms associated with investments, best practices on investing, and money management. In addition to the trainings, they attended a due diligence meeting organized by PAN Fund Board of Trustees to evaluate the performance of consultant and money managers for PAN related investments.  

This training is the first of series of capacity building trainings planned to enhance the capacity of key PAN employees, especially PAN State Coordinators to manage investments. The training program complements the ongoing efforts by PAN Office and PAN Fund to implement the Protected Areas Network Investment Partnership Program (PAN IPP), which sought to enable the PAN Member States to set aside funding’s to invest and support long-term conservation efforts with PAN Fund, in a pooled investment scheme.

“Because of this opportunity, new knowledge and prospects are now available to us. This has moved our program from just a conversation to a more concrete investment scheme to solidify the IPP Program that we are certain is beneficial to our PAN state program and community”. – Omar Faustino, MCN Program Manager

We hope this opportunity will allow more support to implement the PAN Investment Partnership Program (PAN IPP). It is PAN’s goal that with this opportunity, they will work with their state governments to produce a robust sustainable financing mechanism to support their PAN Sites. Another recipient, Losii Samsel of ASCA shares, “I gained knowledge in the basics of investment… so that I can work with PAN Fund, PAN Office, Aimeliik State Government, and our state Legislature… to address sustainable financing needs of ASCA in the future”.

We would like to congratulate the recipients of this scholarship and would like to encourage the rest of PAN employees to continue their capacity building through the PAN Scholarship Program. For more information on the PAN Scholarship Program, visit palaupanfund.org to access the PAN Scholarship Application Package or email info@palaupanfund.org.


PAN Partners with MNRET and MOJ to Improve Conservation Enforcement
November 7, 2019

PAN Partners with MNRET and MOJ to Improve Conservation EnforcementMinister F. Umiich Sengebau of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, & Tourism (MNRET) together with Vice President Raynold B. Oilouch, and Protected Areas Network (PAN) Fund Board Chairman Kevin Chin signed the Tripartite Project Partnership Agreement. In this agreement, MNRET, PAN, and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) will collaborate to create a training program to enhance enforcement coordination and develop a conservation academy curriculum. After the development of the Conservation academy curriculum, the program will be piloted in the Northern States of Kayangel and Ngarchelong and will be replicated to the rest of Palau once it is deemed successful.

With the expertise and capacity of MOJ’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, technical expertise from MNRET, and funding from PAN Fund, this project will focus on creating a Conservation Academy tailored to meet the needs of the States’ conservation efforts and its PAN Rangers. Not only is this an opportunity to build capacity of PAN Rangers, but also an opportunity for State PAN Programs to learn and bring to the level of enforcement and work that Koror State Department of Conservation and Law Enforcement (DCLE) is doing.

With this strong partnership and collaboration, Palau will be able to improve its enforcement and conservation efforts to effectively manage Palau’s natural resources for future generations to come.


PAN Conducts Annual Work Planning Retreat
October 4, 2019

To start off the new fiscal year, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) office along with PAN Fund held a work planning retreat to focus on each of the office’s annual workplans. The purpose of the retreat was for both offices to focus on how they can help each other achieve their respective goals and objectives for the year. The intended outcome of the retreat was for the team to better focus on how they can work more effectively and efficiently in supporting states manage their PAN sites.

PAN conducts annual work planning retreat

The team discussed various ways on how they can support the rest of the Network by assigning tasks specifically to focus on improving capacity building, communications, and standard operating procedures among other things.

The work planning retreat was successful as it allowed both offices to get away and focus on collaborating better to further help PAN states effectively manage their sites. The retreat also had team building activities with fun exercises and activities that helped reenergize the team.


Sonsorol, The 16th State to Finally Join PAN

September 2019 – It is with the utmost pleasure that we welcome Sonsorol State into the Protected Areas Network (PAN). Their nominated site, the Merir Protected Area, has a rich ecosystem that supports a variety of habitats that includes diverse marine and terrestrial organisms such as birds, green turtles, coconut crabs, fish, and other marine species.

The Merir Island is a critical area to include into the Network of Protected Areas in Palau as it bears the largest nesting site for melob (green sea turtles). Since the melob is an endangered species, it is with pride that Palau, by the inclusion of Merir Island into PAN, will be making a contribution toward global efforts to save this CITES-listed species. In addition, the effective management of this site will contribute to Palau’s overall biodiversity goal and commitment in achieving objectives of the Micronesia Challenge.

To effectively manage this site, the Merir Municipality in partnership with Sonsorol State will work together to effectively manage Merir Conservation Area.  PAN will continue to work with Sonsorol State to develop their Management Plan to help guide its efforts and priorities for the next few years.

Again, PAN would like to invite all states and partners to welcome and congratulate Sonsorol State and Merir Municipality for its inclusion into PAN, making it the 16th and final state to join the Palau Protected Areas Network.

sonsorol


PAN Awarded 20K from MCT

September 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) Fund was awarded $20,000 from the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) to implement the PAN Unites Project. The goal of this project is to reinforce community engagement and communication strategy for PAN through a series of activities. This project is intended to create momentum for an ongoing program of community engagement and capacity development activities that strengthens the effective implementation of PAN with the inclusion of an engaged group of PAN partners and stakeholders. These activities include (1) implementation of a PAN conference to highlight PAN’s collective achievements, challenges, and opportunities for innovative learning, (2) implementation of a PAN Forum highlighting PAN’s innovations to state leadership, and (3) implementation of a PAN Youth Program to inspire environment and conservation stewards.

Thanks to this award from MCT, PAN will be able to move the project forward with activities to increase engagement and awareness with various stakeholders so that in turn PAN can be provided with adequate and relevant support to further its work. PAN would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the additional 14 recipients of the grant. As such, PAN happily announces the upcoming PAN Conference to be held this year on November 25 and 26. More details about the conference will be communicated accordingly.


Management of Angaur’s first MPA Begins

It is with pleasure that the Protected Areas Network (PAN) announces the launching of Angaur State’s Iuaiu Management Plan. Angaur Governor Kennosuke Suzuky will work closely with Angaur PAN Coordinator, Andrea Naivana, who will take on the responsibility in overseeing the implementation of its management plan. The PAN office will work together with Angaur PAN Coordinator to put together a team as well as develop an annual workplan to prioritize and help effectively monitor and manage Angaur’s Iuaiu Conservation Area.

The Iuaiu Marine Conservation Area is located on the southwestern side of the island of Angaur, in the largest shallow reef flat. The area covers about 86% of the total area of this southwestern reef flat area. The area is home to a large seagrass bed on the shallow reef flat that serves as a nursing ground for an assortment of fish and other marine species. The outer reef slopes on this site also supports a variety of organisms such as the Bump head parrotfish, Napoleon Wrasse, hawksbill turtles, and green turtles that help to maintain its rich ecosystem. Most importantly, the area serves as an important resource for the community as it has provided for the residents in times of need.

iuaiu

The 2020-2024 Iuaiu Marine Conservation Management Plan is the culmination of hard work and effort from the people of Angaur, traditional and elected state leaders, and management planning team with a Vision that states, “We the people of Angaur want to protect and maintain a healthy marine and forest ecosystem that is free of threats to help sustain people’s livelihood and economic prosperity of Angaur State”. Furthermore, Governor Suzuky desires that the Management Plan “guide our community’s efforts in managing our limited resources and advance our community’s conservation efforts over the coming five years”. The protection and effective management of the area will help build resilience of the wider Network as well as contribute to national, regional, and international goals. Angaur is the 15th state to join the Protected Areas Network.


PAN Efforts Communicated at Stakeholder’s Dialogue on Oceans

August 29, 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) was one of five panels highlighted during the Stakeholder’s Dialogue on Oceans that was held at the Ngarachmayong Cultural Center. The PAN panel brought a diverse group of people who work directly with PAN, to talk about efforts that contribute to ocean conservation in Palau and beyond.

symposium

The panel presentations began with PAN Program Coordinator, Mr. Obichang Skebong were he did an overview of PAN and highlighted community efforts that led to the establishment of the PAN Program itself. He was then followed by Ngardmau PAN Coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Ngiraiwet who shared perspective of the program implementation at the site level that included some challenges and opportunities of managing marine and terrestrial sites in her state. Next panel speaker was PICRC researcher, Ms. Shirley Koshiba who shared socioeconomic research results from Ngardmau on community awareness of PAN. This was followed by a presentation by PAN Fund General Manager, Regis Emesiochel who talked about the process of how PAN is funded through a sustainable financing mechanism. The next speaker was by PCS Program Manager, Ms. Lolita Gibbons-Decherong who talked about PCS’s role in conducting and supporting capacity development efforts for the Network. The last panelist was Micronesia Challenge Regional Office Coordinator, Geraldine Datuin who talked about how PAN inspired the Micronesia Challenge. Finally, MNRET’s Applied Scientist and panel moderator, Ms. Lukes Isechal closed the session by summing up the panel discussions.

Other panel sessions focused on the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), Coastal Fisheries, Land Use Planning, and Capacity Building and Training. This Dialogue was an important space as it allowed the audience to hear PAN and its partners talk about how the programs and agencies they represent are collectively progressing in terms of national priorities and overall global development goals.

PAN Supports Cultural Preservation

joyce beouchAugust 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) joined the first day of the two-day Annual Historic Preservation Symposium hosted by the Bureau of Cultural and Historical Preservation (BCHP) and Ngchesar State. Held at the Bai er a Rengara Oldiang in Ngchesar, PAN Office conservation planner Joyce Beouch had the chance to share the history of PAN, its multi-level structure, its roles and functions, as well as highlighted partnerships and efforts being done towards the protection of Palau’s natural and cultural resources. More importantly, PAN shared how its work with PAN states supports BCHP and Palau’s aim to preserve cultural and historical heritage.

This space was important for PAN as it allowed its work to be communicated to relevant stakeholders beyond its usual audience. PAN would like to thank BCHP for giving us the opportunity to extend our reach further through this symposium. Through its Mission, PAN will strive to protect Palau’s natural and cultural resources for future generations to come.


PAN Supported Three Recipients of 2019 Scholarship Program

PAN supported three recipients of 2019 scholarship programThe Protected Areas Network (PAN) was able to support three college interns this summer under the Internship component of the PAN Capacity Building Scholarship Program. This opportunity was made possible through partnership with the Palau National Scholarship Office. Through this partnership, PAN Fund was able to support bi-weekly stipend to the three interns over the course of eight weeks.

The first intern that began earlier this summer was Ms. Ksid Kloulechad, a senior majoring in Anthropology at the University of Victoria in Canada. Through the PAN scholarship program, Ms. Kloulechad chose to do her internship at Ebiil Society under the supervision of Ann Singeo, Executive Director, which combines her interests in learning about culture with environmental conservation. During her time there, she was tasked as the summer youth program assistant whose main responsibility was to participate and document all Ebiil’s activities, including the Ebiil Camps. Moreover, she was able to demonstrate to the campers, the basics of archaeology that she learned from University. The internship helped her gain experience in environmental and cultural conservation which will enrich her studies further.

Another recipient of the internship program was Ms. River Thomas, a recent graduate from Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, minoring in Chemistry and English. She did her internship at the PAN Office under the mentorship of Lukes Isechal, the Applied Scientist of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET). Ms. Thomas assisted Ms. Isechal in the ongoing design and implementation of the Ministry’s National Forest Monitoring Program; a program aimed at determining the status of Palau’s forest resources as well as measure the effectiveness of the Protected Areas Network. In her internship, Ms. Thomas learned to work with software that allowed her to edit and analyze geospatial data and create maps that marked plots in Babeldaob for data collection. This is her second year interning with PAN on this ongoing program and because she is gaining more knowledge and experience, she is confident that she would like to work in the environmental sector.

The remaining recipient of PAN internship program is Ms. Daemi Ngirmidol, a senior at Eastern Oregon University majoring in Natural Resources focusing on data management of conservation and management. Ms. Ngirmidol also interned at PAN Office under Lukes Isechal’s mentorship. Ms. Ngirmidol’s main project was analyzing data collected from PAN’s annual Site Assessment of PAN States. The assessment collected focused on information such as administration, finance, capacity development, education and outreach, assets and maintenance, etc. The information collected and analyzed by Ms. Ngirmidol will bring to attention collective challenges and lessons to inform capacity development, resource, and technical needs at the system-wide level. This project has allowed Ms. Ngirmidol to put into practice skills that can only be refined through experience in data management. Moreover, she was also able to join various activities such as workshops, presentations, and field trips that helped her learn more about what PAN is all about.

Through this internship program, PAN was able to attract and engage new talent to the Network and ensure these young emerging leaders develop interest in PAN related concepts. The PAN Internship component is focused on supporting Palauan college level students apply knowledge gained through classrooms into a professional work setting. PAN would like to encourage more Palauans to take advantage of this scholarship program. For more information on eligibility and specific requirements, please visit the PAN Fund office (located at the Tommy E. Remengesau Bldg. on M-Dock road) or visit the website at www.palaupanfund.org and access the Capacity Building Scholarship Program Application Packages.


PAN States Receive Training Scholarship Award for Ecological Monitoring Course

August 16, 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) Fund awarded twelve PAN state employees in a Marine Ecological Monitoring Training Course through the Palau Community College (PCC) Continuing Education (CE) Program. Two Researchers, Ms. Ikelau Otto and Ms. Lincy Marino, from the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), conducted the training that spanned the course of two weeks (60 hrs). Participants of the training scholarship included PAN rangers Abimelech Etipson from Aimeliik State, Eric Mongami, Abdul M. Omengkar, Lebilau Sebalt, and Sorcha Basilius from Melekeok State, Marino Kloulubak, Arbeen B. Towai, Ignacio Ngiraiwet, and Norden Louis from Ngardmau State, Mohammed Baules, Marlene I. James, and Ulia Dean from Ngiwal State.

The 60-hour training course covered a range of topics in the classroom and in the field that included (1) review of PAN and marine protected areas (MPAs), (2) strengthening value and understanding the purpose of ecological monitoring of protected areas, (3) developing sampling designs to monitor a state’s MPA, (4) learning about ecological indicators to measure the effectiveness of MPAs through ecological surveys, and finally (5) understanding the process of data management. The field portion of the course allowed the participants learn more in depth about marine habitats and species in Ngardmau, Melekeok, and Ngiwal. As a result of the course, the participants created a reporting template for ecological monitoring.

To close the course, participants had the opportunity to share their learning in front of an audience that included PAN state managers, PAN Office and PAN Fund. Through the presentations, participants showed extensive knowledge and understanding of survey tools and methods required to effectively monitor their MPAs. Finally, a Certification Ceremony was held where Governors of the respective participants, PAN State Coordinators, PAN Office and PAN Fund joined in support.

In response to the training course, PAN Fund Board Chairman Mr. Kevin Chin encourages the participants to share their learning with more PAN employees who were unable to join and looks forward to hearing more about states participating in this course as he was quite impressed with the level of knowledge and understanding demonstrated during participant presentations. PAN would also like to acknowledge and thank PCC CE office for their valuable contribution and support.

This opportunity was made possible through the PAN Capacity Building Scholarship Training Component which is aimed at supporting PAN employees supplement the cost of their attendance to related capacity building or professional development training. Through this Training Scholarship, twelve more PAN state employees have raised their capacities and added value to the effective management of their PAN sites as well as the entire Network of protected areas.

For more information on eligibility and specific requirements, please visit the PAN Fund office (located at the Tommy E. Remengesau Bldg. on M-Dock road) or visit the website at www.palaupanfund.org and access the Capacity Building Scholarship Program Application Packages.

PAN States Receive Training Scholarship Award for Ecological Monitoring Course


PAN’s Melekeok Conservation Network Showcases its Work at 25th MOE Convention

July 25, 2019 – As part of the Protected Areas Network’s (PAN) efforts to improve communication flow of PAN activities and updates to the public, it was able to hold two sessions at the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) 25th Annual Education Convention.

In both sessions, PAN office communications officer was able to share some history that created PAN as well as discussed the dynamics between PAN’s three components: PAN Office, PAN Fund, and PAN State. The bulk of the sessions however were focused on the Melekeok Conservation Network (MCN) programs. MCN program manager along with its conservation officers and rangers were able to give a lively presentation about its PAN site and discuss what it takes to manage their sites effectively. They too were able to showcase current activities that can be tailored to students and encourage educators to consider MCN to help expand their students’ knowledge outside the classroom. It was hoped that in this space, PAN would be able to raise awareness of not only Melekeok’s PAN site, but the network in its entirety.

One of the objectives of this years’ MOE Convention was to allow their employees to become more familiar with various programs to assist them in their classrooms. It was PAN’s hope that as a result of this space, more educators would be able to consider MCN and PAN to assist them raise environmental awareness among students and educators alike.

The Protected Areas Network would like to thank the Ministry of Education for creating this space as well as thank all who were able to attend the sessions that were able to contribute to the rich discussions.

PAN's Melekeok Conservation Network Showcases its Work at 25th MOE Convention


PAN Effective Management Workshop

July 16-18, 2019 – The Protected Areas Network (PAN) together with several agencies teamed up to help PAN site managers gain the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to effectively manage their states’ protected areas, which was the main goal of the three-day workshop facilitated by the Palau Conservation Society (PCS). The workshop was held on July 16-18 at the Kedarm Conference Room at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). Participation of this workshop was open to all PAN state coordinators/managers, rangers, and conservation officers of the 15 States that were part of the larger network of protected areas under PAN.

PAN Effective Management Workshop

Over the course of three days, participants were able to (1) gain better understanding of the Palau PAN, (2) improve their ability to implement state PAN management plans, and (3) understand basic monitoring and evaluation application by linking them to their state PAN management plan implementation. With these three main objectives in mind, the participants were able to have relevant discussions among their peers, science experts, traditional leaders, and conservation activists on how to better manage their protected areas and its natural resources. Notable speakers during the first day of the workshop included Paramount Chief Reklai, Raphael Bao Ngirmang, who shared his insights on the Palauan conservation tradition. He was then followed by environmental activist and PICRC Board Chairman, Noah Idechong, who shared his first-hand account of how PAN was established. Another notable presenter was Ministry of Education (MOE) Director, Andrew Tabelual, who discussed the importance of good leadership in the workplace.

Numerous topics and discussions held during the workshop included (1) overview of Palau’s national and international policies relevant to conservation management, (2) Palau’s resource status of coral reefs, forests, and birds, (3) definition and understanding effective conservation, (4) the use and importance of the Palau PAN tool for conservation, (5) discussion on qualities of an effective leader; (6) results based management, and (7) the importance of monitoring and evaluation. Participants had the opportunity to practice skills introduced during the workshop as well as share their own successes and challenges in managing their PAN sites.

Organizers and presenters of the PAN Effective Management Workshop was made possible by various partner agencies such as the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET), Palau Conservation Society (PCS), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC); Climate Change Office (CCO), Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), The National Environmental Protection Council (NEPC), and the Ministry of Education.

The PAN Office under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET) along with PAN Fund would like to thank all State representatives and partner agencies for making the three-day workshop a fruitful one.


PAN Fund’s Grants Officer Awarded Bill Raynor MC Scholarship

jovalyn ilong koshibaThe Protected Areas Network (PAN) is delighted to announce Ms. Jovalyn Koshiba as one of the recipients of the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge (BRMC) Scholarship. With this BRMC Scholarship, Ms. Koshiba will be able to pursue her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawaii. She will be able to complete her degree by taking online courses for about a year and a half. Ms. Koshiba is currently working at PAN Fund Office as a Grants Program Officer where she is responsible for various grant management activities for the organization. Ms. Koshiba is committed in working towards that the achievement of the Micronesia Challenge. With this opportunity, she will be able to explore other innovative ways to establish robust sustainable financing mechanisms for the Palau Protected Areas Network.

The BRMC Scholarship Fund aims to contribute to the development of effective conservation in Micronesia as well as promote sustainable livelihoods across the region. The BRMC Scholarship Fund was inspired by the late William Charles Raynor, one of Micronesia’s lead conservation pioneers who was involved in various conservation work across Micronesia for over 30 years. He was also instrumental in establishing the Micronesia Challenge and the endowment fund associated with the initiative. He dedicated his life to finding and molding new environmental conservation stewards across the region to maintain the Micronesia Challenge commitment.

Ms. Koshiba was born and raised in the Republic of Palau. She currently holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts with a double major in English and Historical and Political Studies. Ms. Koshiba is the daughter of Fritz and Martha Koshiba and the wife of Elod F. Ngiraingas. Ms. Koshiba expresses her humbleness and gratitude as a Bill Raynor Scholarship Recipient. She is excited and determined to complete her graduate program and contribute to the development of effective conservation of Palau's biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods across the region.

Ms. Koshiba expresses, "Growing up, environment and conservation has been an integral part of my daily life. My father, Fritz Koshiba, was very influential in terms of education, environment, and conservation. He instilled conservation values and taught me how important it is to perpetuate the environment that cradles the way of life." PAN would like to congratulate Ms. Koshiba and fully supports her commitment in pursuing a higher education for the betterment of not only herself, but for Palau, and the region. PAN would also like to encourage more Palauans to take advantage of the numerous opportunities for higher learning, especially in the field that would support the effective management of Palau’s and the region’s resources.


The Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) awards 5 new Graduate Scholarships

The Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) and partners of the Micronesia Challenge are proud to announce the selection of the 2019 cohort of talented young professionals to receive Graduate level scholarships under two regional scholarship opportunities available through MCT. The 5 new recipients brings the total number of Graduate students supported to 13 from across the region.

The Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge (BRMC) Scholarship was made possible by an initial contribution from the estate of one of Micronesia’s conservation pioneers, William (Bill) Charles Raynor (Feb. 22nd, 1957-Sept. 1st, 2015). For over 30 years, he engaged in significant and meaningful conservation work across Micronesia. Among his many pioneering efforts, he helped launch The Nature Conservancy's program in Micronesia, focusing on innovative, community-led conservation and building partnerships. He also helped to establish and strengthen several non- governmental organizations in Micronesia, that are now leading conservation and sustainable development work in their jurisdictions. His inspiring leadership, deep commitment, and passion for innovation were critical to the success of groundbreaking initiatives at every scale—ranging from sustainable agriculture practices for local villages to international agreements to protect biodiversity. Over the course of his three decades in the region, Bill supported and mentored emerging environmental leaders who have the passion and the potential to continue the conservation initiatives and maintain the Micronesia Challenge commitment that he and the other conservation pioneers helped establish in the region.

The Scholarship Fund aims to contribute to the development of effective conservation of Micronesia’s biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods across the region. It provides an opportunity for individuals from Micronesia to undertake either a Master or Doctorate degree in any resource management/conservation field. The selected scholars focus on leadership and technical skills and/or majors that enhance their ability to carry out work in conservation, climate adaptation and sustainable development in Micronesia. Awardees of this prestigious scholarship will receive financial support to earn graduate degrees while receiving close guidance and mentorship from key individuals within the Micronesia Challenge partnership. The mentors/advisors are technical experts who have extensive experience in the field of conservation, climate change adaptation and sustainable development in Micronesia/Pacific.

In addition to the BRMC, the Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation/ Japan (APIC), Sophia University and MCT have partnered to select current conservation professionals from Micronesia to pursue graduate level degrees in conservation. Sophia University has committed to providing full tuition scholarships, APIC is covering travel and room and board expenses and MCT, through the BRMC funds, is covering the cost of internships for the students.

The 2019 Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge program scholars are:

carey demapan Carey Demapan: From Saipan, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Ms. Demapan currently works for the Department of Lands and Natural Resources (DLNR) as the Public Outreach Specialist for the Sea Turtle Program. She will complete her Master’s of Science in Environmental Management at the University of Maryland.
   
jovalyn ilong koshiba Jovalyn Ilong Koshiba: From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Koshiba is currently the Grants Program Officer for the Palau Protected Areas Network Fund (PAN Fund). She will pursue her Master’s of Business Administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii.
   
lincy marino Lincy Marino: From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Marino currently works at the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) as a researcher. She will complete her Master’s in Science in Sustainable Management from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

 

The Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation/ Japan (APIC), Sophia University scholars:

carey demapan Elchung Hideyos: From the Republic of Palau, Ms. Hideyos currently works at the Ebiil Society as the Youth/Community Education Program Coordinator. She will complete her Master’s in Global Environmental Studies at Sophia University.
   
jovalyn ilong koshiba Annette Rose Ludwig: Ms. Ludwig, a Pohnpeian who was raised in Fiji and currently resides in Guam, is a research assistant at the herbarium of the University of Guam. She will pursue her Master’s in Global Environmental Studies at Sophia University.

Second group of PAN Employees Acquire SCUBA Certification

second group of PAN employees aquire scuba certificationOn May 29‐31, 2019, the second group of the Protected Areas Network (PAN) Office and PAN Fund staff and board member completed their SCUBA certification course with Cruise Control SCUBA diving instructors. PAN is determined in raising capacity to improve knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to better support PAN site management. The SCUBA certification will allow technical and administrative staff better access to marine sites by being able to SCUBA dive in marine protected areas. The SCUBA diving course participants have developed better understanding of the nature of work that rangers and conservation officers at PAN sites undertake to manage marine areas requiring SCUBA diving. To date, there are four PAN employees who are now SCUBA certified. The certification would enable the employees to visit and experience designated marine PAN sites first hand. Moreover, when the need arises, they can assist with SCUBA diving activities.