- By Ongerung Kambes Kesolei
Palau tourist visitors will have to sign pledge to be nice to island environment
Some wonder if Palau officials, politicians will sign the pledge too
Jennifer Koskelin-Gibbons presenting the Palau Legacy Project to the crowd at the
night market on Friday. Standing behind Gibbons are Laura Clarke and Nicolle Fagan
also of the Palau Legacy Project.
Visitors to Palau will soon be asked to sign an oath that they will act in a responsible way to protect Palau’s natural and cultural heritage for the country’s children and future generations.
Called “Palau Pledge,” the oath will be in a form of a stamp that will be issued by the Palau immigration officers for the visitors to sign upon arrival.
This was formally announced during the launching of the Palau Legacy Project at the Palau Civic Hall last Saturday night. The event was attended by top national and state government leaders, members of the Palau council of chiefs and women’s leaders.
Local media were told not to provide immediate report on the content of the event until further notice.
“It’s embargoed,” said Jennifer Koskelin-Gibbons – one of the legacy project founders – prior to the start of the night market on Friday.
However, according to Press Secretary Olkeriil Kazuo, Palau Legacy Project invited leaders of the national and state governments, as well as traditional leaders for the event.
“It is an event that if we are going to ask the visitors to take the pledge, then our leaders should demonstrate their commitment by signing the pledge first,” Kazuo said at last Wednesday’s press conference.
Palau Pledge along with an in-flight video are key components of a comprehensive and integrated marketing campaign called Palau Legacy Project.
A presentation at the night market by Mrs. Gibbons disclosed that prior to an incoming flight arrival; a separate video will explain the new immigration process to the visitors.
“Every flight that comes in will be required to show the video so that visitors will have a chance to see it before they sign the pledge while clearing through immigration,” Gibbons said.
The pledge will also be issued in multiple languages for the mainly Asian tourists that makes up most of Palau's visitors.
It is not yet known when the pledge signing will be incorporated in the immigration process.
The Palau Legacy Project was created by First Lady Debbie Remengesau, who co-chairs the project with Jennifer Koskelin-Gibbons. Other founders include Nicolle Fagan, who has a background in global marketing and spouse of Special Prosecutor Sreven Killelea; Laura Clarke, spouse of Lieutenant Commander Ben Fennell, of the Australian Navy Surveillance Adviser and global marketing and public relations expert, and former Palau Visitor’s Authority managing director Nanae Singeo.
“Our group is comprised of members from England, America and one of us is a Japanese married [to a Palauan man] who have been diligently working on this project as we all have our own children and would like to continue this lifestyle, in which many are coming to be experienced it,” Gibbons said.
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