Palau features the most biologically diverse coral reefs, lagoons, mangroves and seagrass beds in Micronesia. Over the past decades, considerable changes in coral cover on Palau’s coral reefs have been observed, including widespread coral bleaching and coral mortality.
The Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN) Act provides the legal basis to establish a network of protected areas. It empowers communities to designate and manage marine and terrestrial protected areas in cooperation with governments, NGOs and other partners. The act outlines standards, criteria, application processes, technical and sustainable financial assistance for management and monitoring of sites. The Protected Area Network Fund is sourced from visitor fees and directly supports participating local communities.
The PAN Act has been recognized as an exemplary policy through the Future Policy Award by the World Future Council.