OneReef and the Republic of Palau (ROP) have entered into an exciting formal partnership to protect Palau’s valuable marine resources.

Through recent groundbreaking legislation to pass the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), all of Palau’s marine territory has been designated either no-take or reserved for domestic fisheries. Palau’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is responsible for the enforcement of the PNMS, and has signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding with OneReef to collaborate on enforcement actions and trainings in support of the PNMS.

Vice President of Palau, and Minister of Justice, Antonio Bells signs MoU with OneReef Founder and CEO Chris LaFranchi

OneReef has provided key support to Palau’s Hatahobei community, whose model enforcement program is of key importance to the PNMS. Hatahobei comprises the farthest outlying islands, and acts as a successful case study for the necessary programs to prevent poaching within Palau’s territorial waters. OneReef has also provided enforcement training and certification for additional community-based programs in Palau, which is critical for future enforcement of the PNMS.

In August 2016, OneReef CEO Christopher LaFranchi met with the Honorable Minister of Justice Antonio Bells to formalize OneReef’s work to promote effective marine enforcement across Palau’s communities. Moving forward, both parties are committed to implementing the PNMS and aligning enforcement efforts to create cohesion across the near-shore and off-shore environment.