Palau Spearheads Global Conservation

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Thanks to a marine ecosystem hailed as one of “The Seven Underwater Wonders of the World,” the Republic of Palau was chosen to play a starring role in the new 3D IMAX film “The Last Reef: Cities Beneath the Sea.” The movie premiered at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in March 2012 and will be shown at museums and IMAX theaters around the world.

Much of “The Last Reef,” which explores the underwater worlds of the earth’s coral reef systems and the challenges they face, was shot in Palau. The waters surrounding Palau, a tiny nation with only 20,000 people and eight major and 250 smaller islands, are home to 1,300 species of fish and 483 species of corals.

Although a mere speck in the Pacific Ocean about 500 miles east of the Philippines, Palau has become a world leader in marine conservation. Its leaders realized years ago that concerted action must be taken to protect the seas of a nation whose economy relies on healthy fisheries and a burgeoning dive tourism industry attracted by its exquisite coral reefs. Read on…

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