Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. Given Ocean Elders Award

Palau President Given Ocean Elders Award
Tommy Remengesau and Nainoa Thompson© Keobel Sakuma

Ocean Elder Sylvia Earle (left), Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr., Ocean Elder Nainoa Thompson, and William Aila Jr., chairman of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, at a recent conference in Samoa.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. received the 2014 Leadership Award on Sept. 21 from the Ocean Elders, a group of distinguished global leaders who support ocean protection.

The award, given at a dinner in New York, recognizes Remengesau for his efforts to create a fully protected marine sanctuary in much of the Pacific island nation’s ocean waters.

The announcement came as world leaders, including Remengesau, gathered at the United Nations to address pressing environmental issues.

Located in the western Pacific, Palau is world-renowned for its healthy and incredibly diverse marine ecosystem. Home to more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral, the waters off this Micronesian nation have been called one of the seven underwater wonders of the world. This nutrient-rich environment is teeming with sharks, turtles, manta rays, dugongs, and tropical fish. These attributes merit greater protection.

In June 2014 at the U.S. State Department’s Our Ocean conference, Remengesau announced plans to transform more than 80 percent of the waters surrounding Palau into a fully protected marine sanctuary.

Less than 1 percent of the ocean worldwide is fully protected, compared with 12 percent of the land. Research shows that very large, fully protected marine reserves are essential to rebuilding species abundance and diversity and to protecting the overall health of the marine environment.

Global Ocean Legacy, a project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and its partners, is collaborating with the Palau president to make his vision a reality. Pew’s staff is working with local communities, governments, and scientists around the world to protect and conserve some of our most important and unspoiled ocean environments.

Together we are establishing the world’s first generation of great marine parks by securing the designation of large, fully protected reserves. To date, efforts by Pew and its partners have helped to double the amount of safeguarded ocean habitat worldwide.

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.

Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.


States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.