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Press Release

The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) is touched by the donations pouring in from Palauans and tourists alike. The most recent donation comes from Ms. Coleen Sekigawa, a Palauan who currently resides in Hawaii. Her donation was received by the Center in the amount of $125. The donation made will help the Center move towards its 15th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign goal of $150,000 for the year 2016.

The outreach programs that help educate the public as well as the Arts & Tides Calendar that recognizes talented students from schools all over Palau inspired Ms. Sekigawa to donate to the Center. In addition, she feels the Center has a dedicated team that focuses on the research and conservation work in Palau and the region. When asked why she was compelled to donate to the Center, she responds, “I donated simply because I just want to help”.

In response to this donation, Research and Aquarium Department Head Ms. Geraldine Rengiil expresses “ We want to thank Ms. Sekigawa for making the decision to contribute to the Center.  Her contribution will help the Center continue to educate Palau’s children, adults, and visitors on how we can enjoy and protect our valuable and unique marine resources. We hope these stories will inspire more people to give to the Center”.

January 4, 2016

As the Palau International Coral Reef Center’s (PICRC) 15th Anniversary draws nearer, the Center has been receiving a number of donations from abroad. Another visitor to Palau, by the name of Ms. Diane Roscoe, donates to PICRC in memory of her dear friend, Ms. Pat Thompson in the amount of $300.

Ms. Roscoe and Ms. Thompson had visited Palau during the summer of 2014 with a group of snorkelers and divers that learned to scuba dive for the first time on the trip. Both ladies enjoyed their visit to Palau and PICRC very much. During their time in Palau, they visited the Palau Aquarium and it seemed to have made an impression on Ms. Roscoe.

The donation made by Ms. Roscoe will go towards PICRC’s 15th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign goal of $150,000 throughout the year 2016. The donations will surely help the Center’s efforts in research and education of coral reef conservation and management that will help fund long term coral reef monitoring efforts and outreach programs to schools and the community.

“Donations of any amount made by locals or from abroad is welcome by the Center. There is no such thing as a donation that is too small or too large” says PICRC’s Business Manager, Ms. Mingrang Kloulechad. “Every donation will help in the efforts of the Center. We would like to thank all those who have donated to the Center over the past years and encourage all to help support the Center. We would also like to thank Ms. Roscoe for her generous and heartfelt donation. The Center will gratefully receive the donation in memory of Ms. Pat Thompson.”

January 4, 2016

The Palau International Coral Reef Center’s (PICRC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Yimnang Golbuu was recently appointed by President Tommy E. Remengesau, through Presidential Executive Order 383, to serve as a member of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) Executive Committee. In responding to the appointment by President Remengesau, Dr. Golbuu stated, “It is an honor for me to be part of such a bold and historic initiative that has inspired not only the people here in Palau but from all around the world. I am committed to working with all the members of the Executive Committee, the Executive Director of PNMS Office, Mr. Keobel Sakuma, and all the relevant stakeholders to ensure that Palau fully benefits from the PNMS, including conservation benefits, fisheries and food security benefits, improved surveillance and enforcement, and improved marketing and tourism.”

Other members appointed through Presidential Executive Order 383 include Vice President and Minister of Justice Antonio Bells, Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang, Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism F. Umiich Sengebau, Rubekul Belau representative, and the Executive Director of the PNMS Office, Mr. Keobel Sakuma. President Remengesau will appoint six additional members, three of whom will be coming from legally recognized marine resource user organizations, while the other three will have expertise in areas needed to effectively manage PNMS.

With the Center’s niche in scientific research and monitoring, it is fitting to see the Center play a more active role in the management of the PNMS. The experience of PICRC with the research on Marine Protected Areas and the Protected Areas Network, as well as the vast contacts with the scientific community, will be relied on to help with the implementation of the PNMS, especially when it comes to the science and monitoring aspects of the PNMS.

January 8, 2016

During their visit to Palau in December, members of Japan’s Parliament from the Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) Committee made a visit to the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). The ODA Committee members were here to assess the different ODA projects from Japan and its impact and contribution to Palau. PICRC was built using ODA funds and has been a recipient of many ODA funding.

During their visit to PICRC, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, gave the delegation a briefing on the current work that is being done by the Center. Dr. Golbuu also highlighted the technical assistance the Center has been receiving from Japan as well as its benefits. He also talked about the assistance that the Center has been receiving and how it has contributed much to the Center’s capacity building and other such programs.

PICRC’s Research and Aquarium Department Head, Ms. Geraldine Rengiil gave the members a tour of the facility that included the research laboratories and equipments. After the tour of the facilities, Chief Aquarist, Mr. Asap Bukurrou, gave a tour of the aquarium. PICRC’s Marketing Officer, Mr. Haruo Ueda, a senior volunteer from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), talked about PICRC’s efforts to increase gift shop sales and admissions to the aquarium.

The delegation was impressed with what Palau has done with the Center as well as the work that has been accomplished so far. “We are always happy to host the members of the ODA”, says Dr. Golbuu. “Our partnership with Japan has always been strong and we are very grateful for what has been achieved with their help to PICRC and Palau”.

January 9, 2016

First Palauan woman to serve in the Supreme Court will be PICRC’s 15th Anniversary Keynote Speaker

The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) is honored to have Associate Justice Kathleen M. Salii deliver the keynote address at its annual fundraising gala on January 21, 2016.

Justice Salii will speak to 200 guests and Palau Wave Radio listeners about her personal experiences with conservation as both a Palauan and a female leader. She will discuss the important role law and enforcement play in conservation, as well as the need to work together and be personal stewards of the environment. Her keynote address will also be broadcasted live on Palau Wave Radio during the night of the anniversary.

President Kuniwo Nakamura swore in Kathleen M. Salii on September 1, 2000 as the first Palauan woman to serve on the Supreme Court, and the first Palauan woman to serve as a full-time Associate Justice. Previously, Justice Salii worked in private practice. Before entering private practice, Justice Salii represented the Republic of Palau, first as an Assistant Attorney General from 1993 to 1997, and subsequently as Acting Attorney General during 1997 and 1998.

Prior to graduating from law school, Justice Salii served as a Law Clerk with the Supreme Court, gaining her first glimpse into the workings of the law as viewed from behind the bench. Justice Salii received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 1988 and worked with Salii Law Firm for two years prior to going to law school. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993.

Justice Salii is a PADI certified SCUBA diver who enjoys quiet dives with close family and friends. Her husband and oldest daughter are also SCUBA divers.

PICRC welcomes Judge Salii to celebrate its 15th anniversary. The gala’s theme is Transforming Conservation Together. The event will be a joint celebration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Palau Conservation Society (PCS) honoring the collaborative approach to advance conservation in Palau and all of Micronesia through partnership with governments, NGOs, and communities.

January 11, 2016

The Judiciary
Press Release

On January 4, 2016, Associate Justice R. Ashby Pate issued a formal letter to President Remengesau and Chief Justice Ngiraklsong, indicating he would be resigning his judicial position effective April 1, 2016. He also met with both personally to thank them for the opportunity to serve the Republic over the past few years.

In his letter, Justice Pate wrote:

Dear Mr. President & Chief Justice Ngiraklsong:

I write today to inform your offices that I will be resigning my position as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court effective April 1, 2016.

For four of the past seven years, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve this great Republic, first as Senior Court Counsel to the Supreme Court, and then, for the past three years, as an Associate Justice on its Supreme Court. It is no secret that my family and I love Palau – its kind people, its extraordinary beauty, its rich history, and its exciting future – and it has been the highest honor of my professional life to serve on Palau’s Supreme Court. For personal and family reasons, however, the time has come to return to Birmingham, Alabama, to be closer to our American family and to continue my legal career there. I say that we must return to “our American family” because the fact is, we consider so many people here to be a vital part of our extended family as well – and it will be especially hard to say goodbye to our Palauan family in April. So, in keeping with Palauan tradition, I will not say goodbye at all, but only “Ma uriul” and of course “Kom kmal mesulang”.

The Supreme Court wishes Justice Pate well in all his future endeavors and thanks him for his service.

January 5, 2016



TNC's Deputy Director for Conservation, Micronesia Program, Mr. Steven Victor presenting the 10K donation to PICRC's Development Director, Ms. Ilebrang Olkeriil

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has generously donated $10,000 to the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) that will go towards the 15th Anniversary Fundraising Gala. The gala will be held at the Palau Royal Resort on January 21, 2016 under the theme, Transforming Conservation Together. The event will be a joint celebration honoring the collaborative approach in advancing conservation in Palau and the region through partnerships. The keynote speaker for the event will be Judge Kate Salii.

TNC has been a close partner with PICRC since its inception and this donation demonstrates TNC’s full support of the Center.

This donation, as well as past and future donations, is an investment for PICRC’s future as it continues to strive towards financial stability. PICRC’s 15th Anniversary fundraising (and all future fundraising) will help the Center become less dependent on the grants and allow the Center to focus on priority issues for Palau and the region.

According to Ms. Ilebrang Olkeriil, PICRC’s Development Director, “PICRC is extremely grateful for this generous donation by TNC. We hope that others would be inspired by this donation and contribute towards the 15th Anniversary Fundraising Gala”. If you are interested in donating to PICRC or want more information about the 15th Anniversary Fundraising Gala, please contact Ms. Ilebrang Olkeriil at 488-6950.

December 5, 2015





Mr. William S. Lovejoy

A tourist visiting Palau made a $100 donation to the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) that all started with a conversation with a local taxi driver as he was driven from the airport. After being encouraged by his taxi driver, Mr. William S. Lovejoy visited the Palau Aquarium. He was so moved by Palau’s proactive efforts in protecting its marine resources that he decided to make a contribution to the Center.

Mr. William S. Lovejoy is a professor from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Upon his arrival, Mr. Lovejoy’s taxi driver from the airport had spoken proudly about the Palau Marine Sanctuary and other conservation efforts and told him not to miss out on the opportunity to visit the Palau Aquarium. Mr. Lovejoy’s observation of the Center’s research programs, outreach programs to the community, especially to Palau’s students, and long term coral reef monitoring efforts to help in conservation management was particularly significant to him.

When asked to share his reason for his donation to the Center, Mr. Lovejoy responds, “as an avid snorkeler and a lover of coral reef ecosystems, I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Palau and I am also very impressed with the steps Palau had taken to preserve its natural beauty for future generations.  I heard about your efforts educating the public and helping to conserve and protect Palau’s wonderful marine resources from Mr. Tutii Chilton, and I would like to make a $100 contribution to the Palau International Coral Reef Center”.

Development Director, Ilebrang Olkeriil expresses, “PICRC is touched by the donation made by Lovejoy. All donations to the Center will go a long way in supporting the Center’s programs. With the Center’s 15th Anniversary around the corner, PICRC would like to encourage all locals and those visiting Palau to support the Center by visiting the Palau Aquarium, and making donations such as cash or bi-weekly allotments. A recommendation made by a taxi driver to visit the aquarium combined with local educator’s inspirational work led to a donation from a visitor to Palau”.

December 14, 2015


On Saturday, January 17th, 2015, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) held its 14th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner at their grounds with hundreds of people attending and a live broadcast at Palau Wave Radio.  The Fundraising Gala Dinner was co-hosted by President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. and the Rubekul Belau, who not only co-hosted the event, but donated $2,000.00 and $1,000.00, respectively, to the fundraising event.  As PICRC’s flagship annual event, this is a special occasion for the Board and staff to showcase the institution’s cause and to celebrate its past year’s achievements with partners and supporters.


Over $90,000 were raised through ticket sales and cash donations from individuals, businesses and government.  The funds raised from this event will go into the construction of the new building that would help the Center increase its revenues from facility rental, and enabling it to move one step closer to financial security.   The Center estimates that once the building is completed, it will generate an additional $66,000.00 in income.  This new income source will help the Center become less dependent on grants and subsidies so that it will be in a better position to focus on Palau’s priority research and education needs, rather than respond to grant and donor driven priorities.


According to PICRC CEO, Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, “All of us at PICRC are speechless with gratitude and awe.  It is both humbling and uplifting to witness such a generous demonstration of support from everyone – from individuals, businesses, traditional leaders and both states and national government.  The success of our 14th Anniversary Fundraising Gala Dinner is beyond our greatest expectations.  The PICRC Board and staff are sincerely honored and grateful for such generous and substantial contribution.  This experience has re-fueled and re-inspired us to continually strive to do our best so that PICRC will continue to earn such support.”

The Senate of the 9th Olbiil Era Kelulau will commence its 1st Day of the Ninth Regular Session on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 10:00 AM at the Capital Building in Ngerulmud, Melekeok. For more information please contact the Senate at (680) 767-2455.

A Senate ra Ongetiu el Olbiil Era Kelulau a mesubed ra rokui el chad el kmo, a Kot el Sils ra Ongetiu el Regular Session a mo er ngii ra Ongerung lureor, January 13, 2015, er a Teruich el klok ra tutau ra Capitol el ngara Ngerulmud, Melekeok.

For more information please contact the Senate at (680) 767-2455.