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The 2010 Palau Compact Review Agreement finally gets funded following US President Donald Trump signing the $1.3 trillion spending bill into law on Friday. President Trump earlier called for $123.9 million to implement the agreement in his proposed budget for FY 2018.
US interior Secretary Ryan Zinke praised President Donald Trump for signing the 2018 Omnibus Funding Agreement which included funding to finalize the 2010 Palau Compact Review Agreement between the United States and the Republic of Palau.
"On the behalf of Palau, I am very happy that the US Congress and President Trump have funded the 2010 Palau Compact Review Agreement demonstrating the continued US commitment to Palau and the western Pacific region," Said Secretary Zinke in a statement to the media.
"The agreement is an important element of the Pacific national security to maintain stability in the western Pacific Region. Interior has held a long, historic relationship with Palau and other US-affiliated Pacific Islands and we look forward to continuing our role on behalf of the US Government in providing these funds to the Government of Palau," continued the Secretary.
"We will be working closely with the State Department and other federal partners to move forward as quickly as possible, " added Assistant Secretary - Insular and International Affairs - Doug Domenech.
The US and Palau Governments will need to meet to update the funding schedule of the 2010 agreement which required specific annual outlays of funds. Included in the assistance are contributions to Palau Compact Trust Fund, a capital improvement program, and an infrastructure maintenance plan. The specifics of disbursements must be reaffirmed by the parties prior to the implementation of the agreement. (Source: DOI News Release)

Palau Compact agreement gets funding

Russian 2025 Expo Delegation led by Svetlana Sagaydak, Director General of Expo 2025 Bid Committee met Vice President Raynold Oilouch, Senate President Hokkons and Speaker Anastacio yesterday on Febraury 27, 2018 to promote Russia's bid for World Expo 2025 in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
Svetlana Sagaydak
Director General Sagaydak is accompanied by delegation as well as staff from Russia's Embassy in the Philippines. The Russian Delegation has visited other island in the Pacific this month including Samoa, Fiji, Solomons and Vanuatu to promote Russia's bid for the 2025 Expo.
Russia's theme for the 2025 EXPO is changing the world" Innovations and Better Life for Future Generations.
Two other countries bidding for the 2025 Expo are Japan (Osaka) and Azerbaijan (Baku). Palau has had deplomatic relationship with Japan and Russia and earlier this year, established diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan.
All night markets will be held at Ernguul Central Park from 5:00PM to 9:00PM. There will be Live Band Entertainment, Dance Performances, Local art and craft & Delicious Local Foods.
Night Markets for 2018
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Palauan Night
International Night

Some of the pictures taken at Night market Of Palau

Night Market Schedule for 2018, Koror, Palau

Hokkon Baules
Hokkon Baules
Senate President Hokkon Baules has asked Minister of state Faustina Rehuher-Marugg to clarify comments made by Palau Ambassador to Taiwan, Dilmei Olkeriil about Palau not establishing official ties with mainland China.
Baules is a strong advocate of closer ties with China. He supported the House Joint Resolution calling the Palau President to establish close economic ties with China. However, the resolution after adoption by the House, failed to muster enough votes for approval in the Senate. 
Faustina Rehuher-Marugg
Faustina Rehuher-Marugg

Entire Letter:
Dear Minister Marugg:
I hope that this letter finds you in the best of health. I seek for prompt clarification regarding a statement made by Her Excellency Ambassador Dilmei Olkeriil which was quoted in the Tuesday December 19, 2017 edition of the Island Times newspaper. She notes in part "Palau will not be establishing official ties with China, which would require it to sever links with Taiwan, even if pressured by the mainland.
I understand as well that the comments were made in an interview with Focus Taiwan News Channel and Taiwan Central News Agency (CNA). Given the exposure these news agencies have throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the world, it is critical that clarification is made to confirm if this statement is the official foreign policy position of the Republic of Palau with regards to the people's Republic of China.
I am concerned of the effects that an abrupt end to visitors and tourists from the People's Republic of China would have no our current tourism industry. And further, the possible adverse effects of the country's support for our initiatives in international organizations as the United Nations.
I anticipate your prompt response to this inquiry as the senate 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau must be consistent with the Executive Branch in its consideration on matter of foreign policy.
Thank you.

Baules ask for the clarification of ambassador's comment

Appeal of judgement filed in appellate court next day
Franco Gibbons
Franco Gibbons
Associate justice Kathleen Salii on Tuesday rendered a summary judgement against plaintiff Joshua and in favor of defendants Palau Election Commission (PEC) and Franco Gibbons and intervening plaintiff Koror State Government, upholding K6-123-2001 calling for the december 12, 2017 runoff election for governor in which Gibbons received 189 votes with 52% of the votes cast over Eyos Rudimch who got 48%.
Plaintiff Koshiba filed a notice to the Appellate Court on the next day, Wednesday, appealing the judgement and decision and asking the Court to expedite the appeal.
The PEC in the mean time has certified the result of the winners of the November 14 general election for the elected Koror legislators and Franco Gibbons as the winner of the December 12 runoff election.
Joshua Koshiba
Joshua Koshiba
Plaintiff Koshiba has filed an amended complaint on December 6 against PEC and Gibbons that the koror law, K6-123-2001 calling to runoff election on December 12 is unconstitutional being in conflict with Koror Constitution Article VII, Section 2 and Article XII, Section 3 which set the election of governor to be only general state election and on a specific second Tuesday in November and also asked for an injunction against the holding of the runoff election. The court denied the motion ans asked all the parties to file their pleadings by December 14 last week and then issued her judgement and ruling on Tuesday this week.
Kathleen Salii
Kathleen Salii
Justice Salii in holding that the Koror runoff law, K6-123-2001, Section 4(B) is not in conflict with the Article XII, Section 3 states the following in the judgement: "The matter of law in dispute is the constitutional validity of KSPL No. K6-123-2001, Section 4(B)........ and then posed this question and answer "Can the language of Article XII, Section 3, of the Koror State Constitution be read in such a manner as to uphold the validity of KSPL No. K6-123-2001, Section 4(B), which provides for run-off elections in a gubernatorial election?

Court Upholds Runoff Election

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. has expressed appreciation to US President Donald Trump for the approval of the Compact Review Agreement. 
On behalf of the people of Palau, I wish to express appreciation for your leadership in providing in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2018, the approval of the compact review agreement between the United states of America and the Republic of Palau, "President Remengesau said in his letter of December 13, 2017. The compact review agreement which was signed in September 2010 but never approved by the US congress, called for a continued financial assistance totaling $229 million to Palau over a 15 years period ending in year 2024.
president of Palau
Tommy E Remengesau Jr.
"Your action after seven years of delay send a clear message to the people of the Pacific that the United States stands again with its friends," President Remengesau said.
Last week President Donald Trump signed into law the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the Palau Compact Review Agreement. The enhancement officially authorizes the strategic agreement signed between the United States and Palau governments in 2010.
"We hope that the US congress will now make the appropriations necessary to complete US approval of the Agreement," Remengesau added.
US President Trump called for $123.9 million to implement the agreement in his proposed budget for FY 2018.
Beginning with FY 2010, subsequent interior and discretionary appropriations acts have been extended annual economic assistance to Palau of approximately $13.1 million a year for a total of 105.2 million in discretionary funds thus far.
In his letter, President Remengesau also asked to meet with President Trump to personally thank him. "If you schedule permits during my next trip to the United States, It would be my pleasure to personally express to you the gratitude of the people of Palau," Remengesau further said.

Remengesau thank Trump for Compact Review Agreement approval

View of Ngermid Bay from G.A.U. Mechang Lagoon Resort
Ngermid Bay had drawn attention on a global scale for its unique environment. On December 9th 2017, researchers from Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and Palau Coral Reef and Island Ecosystem (P-CoRIE) Project presented findings from studies conducted inside the bay and to members of Ngermid community. PICRC researcher, Marine Gouezo and Victor Nestor, presented along with P-CoRIE Chief Advisor, Dr. Takashi Makamura and P-CoRIE researchers, Dr. Haruko Kurihara and Hiroke Kise.

The Bay around Ngermid has little connectivity to the outside. With an unusually low PH level, one predicted for the end of this century, and water temperature reaching above average, the bay should be a death sentence for most corals. Astonishingly, what has been observed inside Ngermid Bay is the opposite. 

Corals in Mechang Bay, Ngermid
Corals in Mechang Bay, Ngermid
The corals found inside Ngermid Bay is not only surviving, but thriving. Amongst an abundance of corals, the bay additionally host an array of genetically unique organisms. A study conducted by PICRC, indicates that corals within the bay have been isolated for so long, that these communities have adapted to flourish in such an environment. Additionally, results fron PICRCs long term monitoring showed there to be little impact inside the bay following the 1998 bleaching event.

while these corals prove to be resistant to high water temperatures and low PH levels, there are vulnerable to land based pollution and have very low recruitment rates. Excessive stress may result in a loss of this unique coral reef. As the world's oceans continue to warm, these resistant corals may provide information valuable to the survival of coral reef worldwide. 

View from G.A.U. Mechang Lagoon Resort
It is critical this research is made public so it can guide local management. With this information the community can focus their management on minimizing human impacts. PICRC would like to thank the Ngermid community members and Legislator armstrong Debelbot for their help in organizing the community meeting.

Uniqueness of Ngermid Bay Highlighted during community meeting

Palau is the first nation on earth to change its immigration laws for the cause of environmental protection. Upon entry, visitors need to sign a passport pledge to act in an ecologically responsible way on the island, for the sake of Palau’s children and future generations of Palauans.

Every tourist who takes the pledge needs to follow this sustainable tourism checklist or risk a fine.

  • Don't collect Marine life Souvenirs : Taking coral, shells, small and protected fish, and other protected species (including turtles and sharks) damages the environment and threatens species with extinction. 
  • Do support local businesses and communities : Visit cultural events and festivals to enrich your experience and make your purchases as local as possible to give back to the village.
  • Don't feed the fish and sharks : Not only is it dangerous for you, it could also damage the health and behavior of sea life.
  • Don't drag fins over coral when swimming : Dragging fins over reefs or stirring up sediment can damage the ocean habitat.
  • Do get others to respect the customs :  Let your tour group and fellow visitors know about Palau’s cultural traditions.
  • Don't touch or step on coral : Coral is extremely fragile yet crucial to the ocean’s biodiversity. Walking, standing or even brushing coral can kill a whole colony.
  • Don't take fruit or flowers from gardens : While it may look free for the taking, that produce is likely from a local’s property. Buy your fruit at the store instead.
  • Do learn about the culture and people : Make a friend and ask about cultural etiquette, such as manner of greeting, respectful dress, eating customs and other local norms and values.
  • Don't touch or chase wildlife : It is highly stressful and damaging to an animal’s health, and potentially dangerous to you. Touching some fish can remove their protective coating.

  • Don't litter : Rubbish poses a significant danger to wildlife and habitats. Plastics, which do not biodegrade, end up as ocean debris, entangling and killing thousands of animals every year.
  • Don't Smoke in restricted areas

Sign the pledge at

Declare something worthwhile at customs (Palau Pledge)

PISR now one of the fastest growing and most efficient ship registries

Panos Kirnidis
The Palau International Ship Registry has recently seen a strong increase in its fleet size as more shipowners and operators look to become a part of the new breed of smart registries. As the Palau flag starts appearing on more vessels the appeal of a registry based on technology and detailed attention to service becomes more important to world shipping. At the end of September 2017 the Palau flag fleet stands at 380 ships with 3,000,000 gross tonnage. The main Palau fleet now comprises 27% general cargo and 20% tankers, with the rest vessels accounting for 53% of its total ships covering all vessel types and across a wide range of countries. There have been increases in the number of barges, tugs and bulk carriers looking to fly the Palau flag and more recently, a growing number of yacht owners talking to the registry looking to join the fleet. Panos Kirnidis, CEO of Palau International Ship Registry believes the flag has become increasingly attractive to ship owners looking for stability, security, attention to detail and technological advances. "Since our inception in 2010 the registry has grown steadily with different types of ships joining our fleet. 
We have a strenuous vetting process for all our ships and we know that owners, charterers and operators want a quality flag. As a relatively new one we know that attracting ships into  our fleet takes time and our clients need to be comfortable with us, our operations and our quality management approach. 
This recent increase in fleet size shows we are sailing the right way." Smart ships and smart technology in running a fleet are currently driving shipowners to look their vessels is using the current world economic forecasts to reach out to the maritime industry to attract even more ships into the Palau fleet."
We have been saying for more than a year that the maritime industry knows that smart ships and smart technology is the way forward and yet there seems to be reluctance on the part of some owners to fully embrace technology. When the world economy turns and the shipping world recovers, progress in technology will be one of the real driving forces. The time to embrace this technology is now. Smart ships are here and so are smart registries. Waiting until the world economy picks up might be the wrong time to switch registries. PISR is the fastest growing and efficient ship registry, which is investing in advanced technology, highly experienced staff and is built on foundation of a fully-electronic registry. We introduced a new Deficiency Prevention System (DPS) at the end of 2016 through a dedicated department monitoring all Palau ships to reduce deficiency and casualty rates. It's just one of the advances in looking after our fleet we feel puts us on course to be the smartest of smart flags in 2018." 

Palau fleet grows as owners look for smart solutions

Eddie Calvo
Guam Governor Eddie Calvo has called for the U.S. Department of Defense to halt military construction projects on the island until a shortage of foreign labor is remedied. Federal immigration officials have denied most of the requests by Guam businesses to use temporary foreign labor under the H2B visa program, the Pacific Daily News reported on Friday.
A few years ago, the U.S. territory had a foreign work-force of more than 1,000. After the number dropped below 100, businesses on the island filed a lawsuit over the denials last year. Calvo has asked the Defense Department to stop military construction and for the guidelines of the buildups to be reassessed. The military has relied on the island's temporary foreign workforce in the past. 
"Unfortunately, this H2B denial, which started with the bureaucrats of the Obama administration, continues to linger," said Calvo, a Republican. "In so doing, it is not only hindering our island's economy, but I believe it is risking our island and our nation's security as well." In a letter to the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, James W. McCament, Calvo said the visa denials are causing harm by inflating construction costs and leaving fewer bids for military and civilian projects.
"I consider this a clear and present danger to the safety and health of the people of Guam,"Calvo said. Also Friday, the U.S. government filed a lawsuit against Guam and the island's Chamorro Land Trust Commission, saying the territory's government has violated provisions of the federal Fair Housing Act.

The lawsuit says Guam's Chamorro Land Trust Act, which holds public land for the benefit of the island's indigenous people, has discriminated on the basis of race or national origin, the Pacific Daily News reported.
The territory's law allows the Chamorro people to apply for residential and agricultural leases of that land. The commission also leases some of the land for commercial purposes to non-indigenous people in order to generate revenue.
As an example of the law's discriminating practices, the lawsuit outlined the case of a non-indigenous man married to a Chamorro woman who lost his home on a land-trust plot after his wife died. The lawsuit stated that the commission evicted the man following a hearing on his claim because he was not native to Guam.
The lawsuit asked the federal court to prohibit Guam's practices it claims are discriminatory. The lawsuit also called for monetary damages to be awarded to those harmed by the law.
Calvo said Guam plans to fight the lawsuit. "It's clear that they don't understand or don't care about the reason behind the creation of the Chamorro Land Trust's Commission," Calvo said. "We must allow the native inhabitants of this land the opportunity to build a home and live on their native land  and I have no compunction about fighting this out in court." PACNEWS

Guam governor asks U.S Defense Department to stop construction

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