Conservation and Protected Areas Program
The Conservation and Protected Areas Program is PCS’s largest program. It prioritizes on-the-ground community-based action to protect and manage critical sites and species. The Program’s guiding core value is a respect for the scientific principles of conservation. We believe that protected areas, resource use planning, and adaptive management are effective methods to protect our natural resources. In this program, we work with communities to establish protected areas, effectively conserve resources, and protect critical species.
PCS has a long history of working with communities and local governments to establish protected areas, and in 2011 there were over 40 protected areas covering over 40% of Palau’s nearshore marine areas and 20% of Palau’s terrestrial areas. PCS advocates for the establishment of new protected areas in sensitive environments, and assists states to set up the legislation to legally establish protected areas. In recent years, PCS has also begun working with communities to ensure that protected areas are effectively conserved. PCS also partners with the Micronesia Challenge to establish effective conservation and track Palau’s progress.
One of our primary strategies in this program is to work with communities to ensure that Palau’s 40+ protected areas are effectively conserved in reality, and not just on paper. One of the first steps towards effective conservation is to work with communities to develop Protected Area Management Plans to guide activities in protected areas. PCS facilitates and guides communities through the process of writing a management plan, but we do not write plans ourselves. As part of this process we help states become members of the Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN). Download Management Plans.
In 2003, Palau passed legislation to establish the Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN), a national mechanism to protect the nation's biodiversity. With the implementation of a Green Fee (a fee paid by visitors to Palau upon leaving) in 2009, the PAN also began its second function of serving as a sustainable funding mechanism to ensure effective conservation. PCS works with states and communities to become members of the PAN and to access PAN funds.
PCS works with states, communities, and national partners to implement activities to ensure that species—whether inside or outside a protected area—thrive. Some of these activities include advocating for birds (such as our recent Kayangel Rodent Eradication Project) and Important Bird Areas, or conducting other species-based outreach.
PCS works in partnership with communities to implement activities to reduce threats and improve the viability of protected areas.
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