Welcome to Palau, the paradise that's leading the way in sustainable tourism! On December 7, 2017, Palau became the world's first country to pioneer an immigration policy that champions the preservation of its rich culture and breathtaking natural environment. This groundbreaking initiative, known as the Palau Pledge, is the first step towards responsible and respectful tourism.
The Palau Pledge is a passport-like declaration that every visitor to our beloved island must sign upon arrival. It's more than just a document; it's a commitment. By signing the pledge, tourists promise to respect our ecological and cultural heritage during their stay. They commit to preserving the land, not taking what isn't freely given, and refraining from causing harm without self-defense. The Pledge emphasizes leaving only footprints that will be washed away by the ocean – a commitment that ensures the preservation of Palau's beauty for future generations. To make it even more special, local children played a significant role in drafting the declaration.
Meet the visionary founders of The Palau Legacy Project, including Nicolle, Jennifer Gibbons, Laura Clarke, and Nanae Singeo. They are the driving force behind the Palau Pledge, working tirelessly to create a sustainable future for Palau. Over 22,000 individuals have already pledged their support, and the online awareness campaign has reached over 1.6 billion people worldwide.
With the support of the President and the First Lady of Palau, The Palau Legacy Project is changing the way both visitors and local Palauans treat our island. One of the remarkable aspects of this campaign is an in-flight video shown on every flight landing in Palau, which serves as a powerful reminder of the responsibilities we all share.
The Palau Pledge is a response to the urgent need for eco-responsible tourism. The tourism industry is responsible for approximately 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, surpassing even the construction sector. With the rise in global travel and consumption, it's vital to adopt strict regulations to mitigate the environmental impact. Palau's innovative management of visitors sets an inspiring example for the world to follow.
Nestled in the Western Pacific, Palau is a treasure trove of natural beauty. In 2015, Palau created the world's sixth-largest marine sanctuary, protecting 80% of its maritime territory. Despite the challenges of a growing number of visitors (almost 160,000 annually), which far surpasses our population of 20,000, Palau Legacy Project recognized the need to protect our delicate environment.
The challenge was to strike a balance between promoting tourism and preserving our unique Micronesian culture and environment.
The Palau Pledge has garnered international support from influencers like actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, former US Secretary of State John Kerry, and renowned conservationist Sylvia Earle. As the third smallest country in the world by population, Palau now boasts the largest percentage of protected ocean globally.
The Palau Legacy Project's mission extends beyond the Palau Pledge. Phase 2 focuses on integrating conservation into the national curriculum and initiating an accreditation scheme for local businesses that align with the principles of the Pledge. The project also involves educational field trips to demonstrate the impact of human activity on our local ecology, inspiring teachers to emphasize the importance of conserving the natural environment.
As responsible travelers and advocates for sustainable tourism, we invite you to support the Palau Pledge in action. Choose Soultrips and Palaun tour operators who share the values and mission of the Palau Pledge. Together, we can explore Palau mindfully and be stewards of this paradise for generations to come. Your journey begins with a commitment to respect and protect Palau's vibrant culture and natural beauty, leaving only the footprints that will be washed away by the ocean. It's more than a pledge; it's a promise for a sustainable future.
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