7 Nov 2005

Palau leading way in effort to save fragile marine environments

6:56 pm on 7 November 2005

The Director of Palau's Coral Reef Research Foundation, Pat Colon, says Palau is more advanced than most countries in the Pacific in its efforts to conserve the marine environment.

He says representatives from US territories in the Pacific are currently in Palau to discuss how they might strengthen marine conservation.

Mr Colon, who is a marine researcher, says Palau has legislation in place and has begun establishing protected marine areas.

He says such moves are necessary given the threats to marine life in the Pacific.

"There's climate change, which is related to coral bleaching. There are effects from development, usually land development, where you have sedimentation and erosion causing degradation of marine environments, and you have things such as overfishing."

Pat Colon.

The US Coral Reef Taskforce revealed at the four day Palau meeting that it wants to produce a comprehensive digital map of all shallow coral reefs in US affiliated states.