Eight tourists come to visit for every resident of the Pacific archipelago of Palau. The harmful environmental impacts of 160,000 visitors are something the 13th smallest island of the world is trying to emphasize.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells with Labor’s Penny Wong and Claire Moore are on a tour of Palau, Micronesia and Marshall Islands this week.
On Monday, Ms Bishop declared a $78,700 contribution towards the “Palau pledge” – initiations to support tourists as well as local businesses to be more environmentally conscious and sustainable.
Palau president Tommy Remengesau was quite thankful for the support.
“The Palau pledge has already made an immediate impact on visitors and the citizens of Palau, encouraging greater awareness of the responsibility we have to our children and our children’s children,” he said.
Leonardo DiCaprio, the Oscar-winning actor, billionaire Richard Branson and former US secretary of state John Kerry were among the pledge supporters. Australia’s May budget comprised a record $1.3 billion aid investment for Pacific island nations, which are identified among the world’s most vulnerable in terms of climate change as they struggle with growing sea levels and the increased frequency and intensity of cyclones and storms.