“Progressing with Our Past Toward a Resilient, Sustainable, and Equitable Future”
Palau actively participated in formulating the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Accordingly, Palau welcomes the VNR as an opportunity to reflect on achievements and acknowledge vulnerabilities while accelerating progress toward a global development paradigm characterized by resilience, sustainability, and equity – an Era of Sustainable Development.
Over the 25 years since independence, as a small island but large ocean state, Palau has established governance and infrastructure supportive of modern nationhood and evolved from a low-income country in 1994 to a high-income country in 2017. Palau achieved seven of the eight MDGs and has played a leadership role in safeguarding the environment for future generations. Other achievements include universal access to quality health care and education, reduction of poverty amidst a growing economy, a sustainably financed nationwide network of protected areas, and enduring regional and global partnerships. Nonetheless, challenges remain due to vulnerabilities as a small island developing state, global economic forces, and climate change.
Means of Implementation
Palau embraces the SDGs at the highest political level. After mapping global targets and indicators against domestic priorities, Palau identifies 89 targets that comprise the national SDGs framework. The 2019 VNR presents a baseline report against the national framework and outlines a pathway to 2030 and beyond. Next steps include integration of the nationalized SDGs into planning and budgeting framework to facilitate monitoring and timely implementation while building ownership of the SDGs at the grassroots.
Palau’s sustainable development is the intersection of four interlocking pillars – people, prosperity, planet, and partnerships. In the People Pillar (SDGs 2-4) Palau envisages happy, healthy, and purposeful lives supported by the Prosperity Pillar (SDGs 1, 8, 10) characterized by equitable, inclusive, and sustainable growth in harmony with nature – the Planet Pillar (SDGs 6, 7, 9, 11-15). The fourth pillar, Partnerships and Governance (SDGs 5, 16-17) reflects the interdependence of all pillars and the continuing need for effective governance and partnerships both domestically and internationally. For achieving 2030 goals and targets, Palau has identified challenges in closing gaps, improving quality, and enhancing resilience – especially climate resilience.
Closing gaps: There are many SDG targets that Palau is on track to realize but for which additional effort is needed to maintain good progress. Having achieved universal education, more is needed to ensure quality education for a globalized future (Target 4.1). Having achieved universal access to water, more is needed to ensure safety and drought resilience (Target 6.1). Having created a national network of marine protected areas, more is needed to protect especially sensitive ecosystems still underrepresented in the network such as mangroves (Target 14.5), to conserve near-shore fish stocks (SDG 14.4), and to sustainably manage terrestrial ecosystems while achieving food security (Targets 2.3 and 2.4) and inclusive economic growth (Target 8.5) in harmony with nature.
Improving quality: Having achieved basic services, Palau now focuses on quality. No one goes hungry but many do not have an optimal diet and as a nation, Palau is overly dependent on food imports resulting in dangerous insecurities (Target 2.2). Everyone enjoys modern energy, but Palau aspires toward modern renewable energy (Targets 7.1 and 7.2). Palau has built roads but aspires to complete transportation infrastructure that incorporates sidewalksand public transport (Target 9.1).
Building resilience: Climate change, and associated natural disasters, impact all aspects of life and without climate-informed development, threaten Palau’s economy, infrastructure, environment, health, and culture. It is imperative that planning adapt to new climate realities - climate-proofing infrastructure, relocating communities where necessary, and building human capital for life in a climate-altered world.
Progressing with Our Past
Palauans have called our islands home for generations, adapting to change, and evolving values and traditions that are foundations for sustainability. As Palau progresses in this Era of Sustainable Development, we look to our past to guide our future and commit to progress together, leaving no one behind, linked by our common heritage and values. We seek genuine partnerships with the global community to support us to access technologies, develop innovations, and identify financing that supports a resilient, sustainable and equitable future for today and for generations yet to come.
The Pacific is home to one third of the 52 Small Island Developing States in the world. With the exception of PNG, the rest of the Pacific SIDS are constrained by small administrations and limited economies of scale. Despite universal support for the MDGs, MSI and the high per capita ODA in the Pacific, the region is off track in achieving most of the MDGs by 2015 . Recognising this, the Pacific Isalands Forum Leaders in 2009 agreed to the (Cairns) Forum Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination. The Compact comprises various initiatives including: i) annual Millennium Development G...[more]
Led by the Presidents of Palau and Seychelles, the Prime Minister of Grenada and the Premier of the British Virgin Islands, the Global Island Partnership promotes action to build resilient and sustainable island communities by inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and facilitating collaboration. It is a partnership for all islands, regardless of size or political status, to take greater action to conserve and sustainably utilize invaluable island natural resources that support people, culture and livelihoods around the world.
The primary objective of the ICT4SIDS Partnership is to fully utilize the latest digital innovations to rapidly improve the health, education, public safety (including disasters), public welfare (including economic development), and other vital services in SIDS.. Specifically, we want to use the latest digital innovations to significantly accelerate the implementation of SDGs and Samoa Pathway goals. Our approach consists of the following key capabilities: 1. A Computer Aided SDG Advisor that can help the SIDS assess their status and launch the needed services 2. A powerful computer aided pl...[more]
The Island Resilience Partnership (IRP) supports communities on the front-lines of climate change by accelerating their transition toward renewable energy and resilient infrastructure - at no-cost to governments and island stakeholders. The IRP utilizes GridMarket's predictive analytics, mapping technology, and competitive marketplace to design, develop, and deploy distributed energy resources across island in order to achieve climate mitigation and climate adaptation goals.
The objective of the J-PRISM Partnership is two-fold, firstly to strengthen and develop national waste management systems and human capacity in Pacific SIDS through partnership with Pacific SIDS, SPREP and the Government of Japan; and secondly to promote the regional sharing of knowledge and expertise and encourage the eventual uptake of good waste management practices in Pacific SIDS.Good waste management is a vital component of national sustainable development, since poorly managed waste has negative impacts on areas such as public health, environment, and tourism. By strengthening the syste...[more]
IRENA has developed the SIDS Lighthouses Initiative to support the strategic deployment of renewable energy in SIDS, to bring clarity to policy makers regarding the required steps, and to enable targeted action. As a joint effort of SIDS and development partners, this framework for action will assist in transforming SIDS energy systems through the establishment of the enabling conditions for a renewable energy-based future, by moving away from developing projects in isolation to a holistic approach that considers all relevant elements spanning from policy and market frameworks, through technol...[more]
The Micronesia Challenge is a commitment by five governments—the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020. The Challenge has grown into a network supported by over 50 partners globally and has seen enormous progress.
Noumea Communique2nd Oceania 21 ConferenceNoumea, 2 July 20141. The 2nd Oceania 21 Conference (Oceania 21), organised by the New Caledonian Government, with the support of France, and was chaired in turn by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Vanuatu, the Prime Minister of Tuvalu and the President of the Marshall Islands, currently Chairman of the Pacific Islands Forum.
The network enables effective knowledge sharing and advocacy on the practical application of Integrated Water Resources Management approaches to address key water resource, catchment and coastal management challenges in Pacific Island Countries
Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting is a summit-level meeting which has been held every three years since 1997. Leaders openly discuss various issues that Pacific Island Countries(PICs) are facing in order to build close cooperative relationships and forge a bond of friendship between Japan and PICs. The 7th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM7) was held in Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan, on 22 and 23 May, 2015. At this summit, under the slogan of "We are Islanders - Commitment to the Pacific from Iwaki,
The Pacific Islands Development Forum is partnering with PIDF Member Countries (including Fiji, Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) and Solar Head of State to facilitate the installation of solar energy infrastructure to power residences of heads of state of eleven PIDF member countries and the PIDF Headquarters to promote renewable energy in the Pacific This project will be a symbolic statement of intent by the governments, and also a test project to encourage more future grid-connected solar projects on the...[more]
The goal of the Pacific Islands National Priorities Multi-Focal Area ‘Ridge-to-Reef’ (R2R) program is to maintain and enhance Pacific Island countries’ ecosystem goods and services (provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural) through integrated approaches to land, water, forest, biodiversity and coastal resource management that contribute to poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods and climate resilience. This goal will be achieved through a series of national multi-focal area R2R demonstration projects which will support and address national priorities and development needs whi...[more]
The focus of this marine sanctuary initiative is on: Integrating with other Pacific Island Countries in furthering the Mixed Management Approach (Mixed Plate Approach) envisioned by the 45th Pacific Islands Forum in its Palau Oceans Declaration and incorporating appropriate management, transition and set-aside strategies appropriate to Palau's National interests;Palau sees its Marine Sanctuary as a contribution to Pacific regional conservation and seeks positive consideration from its neighbors and partners for its contributions. Palau envisions its Marine Sanctuary Initiative as a model for o...[more]
Outcome 1: Child Protection Systems (including Justice and Police, child and family social services, health and education and communities) provide improved quality of and access to services for the prevention of and response to violence, abuse and exploitation of children at all times.Outcome 2 Parents, caregivers, and children demonstrate skills, knowledge and behavior enabling children to grow up in caring homes and communities, including schools that are free from violence, abuse and exploitation.