On Monday, August 11, 2014 Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) hosted a brief opening ceremony of the Palau Protected Network (PAN) Conservation Officer Training at the PICRC Kedarm Conference Room. The ceremony was opened by the PICRC CEO Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, followed by special remarks by the Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, Honorable Umiich Sengebau, Dr. Patrick U. Tellei, President of Palau Community College (PCC) and His Excellency Kazuhiro Tajiri, Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan and closed by Director Matsui Nobuaki of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Palau Office. Over thirty participants attended the ceremony included Governors, Browny Salvador from Ngarchelong, Renguul Masahiro from Ngardmau, Tmewang Rengulbai from Airai and Maria Gates from Angaur State. Koror State Director Jose Ise, Administrative Officer Ernest Ongidobel, PAN Coordinators and conservation officers from the states of Koror, Ngardmau, Angaur, Ngaraard, Ngarchelong, Airai, and Kayangel and the staff of PICRC, PAN Office, PAN Fund and Japan Embassy were also present at the ceremony.
After the ceremony, the PAN Conservation training began at the PICRC Student Lab. PICRC Researchers, Marine Gouezo, Lincoln Rehm and Shirley Koshiba together with the Head of Research and Aquarium Department Geraldine Rengiil are conducting the training to a selected number of PAN conservation officers. Lessons and field activities during the training includes proper ecological methods in monitoring of MPAs; identification of corals, fish, invertebrates, seagrass; and managing and conserving our marine resources.
The purpose of the training is to help provide support in areas that conservation officers need and to be certified in managing their state Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Collaborating with PCC and PANO to conduct the training with the technical assistance of JICA and Palau Coral Reef Island Ecosystem (P-CoRIE) fulfill PICRC’s mission in supporting conservation and management for the perpetuation of marine and associated environments through research and education that is significant to Palau and relevant to the world.