Yimnang Golbuu, Ph.D.


Yimnang Golbuu is the CEO at the Palau International Coral Reef Center. He is also currently a member of the Palau National Commission of UNESCO and vice president of the International Society for Reef Studies. Golbuu’s Pew fellowship project is focused on exploring the conditions of Palau’s marine protected areas. He is using oceanographic models to investigate the distribution of corals and fish and how they move among the existing protected areas. If the results show that the existing areas are not ecologically connected, he will identify sites to fill in those gaps. Golbuu is also conducting ecological surveys in order to observe which coral and fish species are currently residing within or outside existing protected areas. He will use this information to identify more sites that ensure protection to a vast representation of Palau’s marine biodiversity. Golbuu is working to compile all the evidence gained from this research for stakeholder workshops to discuss the information, receive feedback, and create an optimal design for Palau’s Protected Areas Network. The design will maximize biodiversity and connectivity and therefore support ecosystem resilience to local disturbances (e.g., increasing demand for fish from a growing tourism industry) as well as those of a global nature (e.g., climate change). By sharing the results throughout Micronesia, he will then potentially extend the process to other islands.

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