Is Palau on your radar as your next liveaboard diving holiday destination? Then be prepared to sign their Eco Pledge at immigration in order to obtain entry.
This small island nation has a history of being serious about protecting their natural resources.
- 2009 the world’s first shark sanctuary was created in the archipelago
- 2015 the nation moved towards protecting 80% of its maritime territory as a fully protected marine reserve and created the Palau National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary protects marine life in a vast area of almost 500,000 square kilometres.
- 2017, Palau President, Tommy Remengesau, appealed to the attendees at the United Nations Oceans’ Conference. He proposed that they should commit to protecting 30% of the world’s oceans under a Global Marine Sanctuary Network by 2030.
President Remengesau has once again turned his attention on how best to preserve his beautiful homeland. The tiny Pacific nation boasts crystal clear waters, pristine coral reefs teeming with fish life and is considered to be one of the world’s best diving spots.
Once a niche tourist destination, the archipelago has seen a huge increase in tourism, a staggering 70% on 2010 figures. The 150,000 tourists in 2016 far outnumbered the islands’ 20,000 population, who are struggling to ensure that future generations will inherit a pristine environment. Unfortunately, some visitors have shown disregard and disrespect by capturing turtles and taking selfies with them, walking on fragile coral and leaving trash on the beaches.
Visitors to Palau have to show intent to respect the environment in order to gain entry into the country. Upon arriving in Palau, you will have to sign the “Palau Pledge”. Said to be a world first, the symbolic pledge was written with the help of Palau’s children. “I take this pledge as your guest, to protect and preserve your beautiful island home,” it reads in part. “I vow to tread lightly, act kindly and explore mindfully.” President Tommy Remengesau said “Conservation is at the heart of our culture,” “We rely on our environment to survive and if our beautiful country is lost to environmental degradation, we will be the last generation to enjoy both its beauty and life-sustaining biodiversity.”
The strides Palau has made to protect its environment not only benefits their people, it has created the perfect liveaboard diving vacation destination. Our liveaboard itineraries take you far from the maddening crowds where you can enjoy the stunning islands and magnificent marine life. Book your discounted Palau liveaboard diving cruise now with Palau Aggressor II and the Rock Islands Aggressor. (Terms and conditions apply)