16 Sep 2008

Palau offers to help Hawaii conserve its reefs

3:34 pm on 16 September 2008

Palau is offering Hawaii a helping hand to reach its reef conservation quota.

2008 is the international year of the reef and the Palauan president, Tommy Remengesau is using this year to encourage the Pacific region to put more effort into conservation.

The Micronesian challenge is for the region to conserve 30 percent of its coastal waters and 20 percent of its land by 2020.

The Palauan President's chief of staff, Billy Kuartei, says the United States has a set a quota for a number of reef areas to be put aside for conservation - but is finding this difficult.

"We are offering some of our reefs to help the United States come up to meet the requirement of setting aside certain reefs because they have reefs but they have a continental shelf around it and so many of them are desiring use of it which have not led them to set them aside."

Billy Kuartei says it's important that the conservation goals are aggresively pursued.

Save our Seas in Hawaii says less than one percent of its coast is protected.