The ‘Palau Pledge’ Puts Ecology First


The Palauan government recently instituted a mandatory ‘eco-pledge’ for tourists—in the form of a passport stamp. (National Geographic)

What did our Pristine Seas team find in Palau?

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

The beautiful Pacific nation of Palau is an archipelago of about 300 coral and volcanic islands, most of them uninhabited.
Photograph by Charly W. Karl, courtesy Flickr. CC-BY-ND-2.0

Children of Palau
I take this pledge,
as your guest,
to preserve and protect
your beautiful and unique
island home.
I vow to tread lightly,
act kindly and
explore mindfully.
I shall not take
what is not given.
I shall not harm
what does not harm me.
The only footprints
I shall leave are those
that will wash away.

Discussion Ideas


  • What are some examples of activities addressed by the Palau Pledge? Watch the video and take a look at the website for some help.
    • DO NOT
      • LITTER.
      • collect marine life souvenirs, such as shells or corals.
      • feed wild fish.
      • drag plastic swim fins over corals when swimming.
      • step on the coral.
      • take fruit or flowers.
      • chase or pursue wildlife in order to take selfies with them.
      • smoke in restricted areas.
    • DO


  • Why is Palau pursuing this conservation strategy?
    • conservation.Conservation is at the heart of our culture,” says Palauan President Tommy Remengesau.
    • economy. Conservation protects the Palauan economy in two ways.
      • Tourism is the primary economic industry in Palau. (The island nation of about 20,000 residents welcomed almost 150,000 tourists in 2016.) Tourism in Palau relies on the environment—biodiverse reefs, lagoons, and tropical island forests—but the increased human footprint has put a strain on Palau’s infrastructure and environment. Reducing human impact on the environment will ensure the lure of the tropical island for generations to come.
        • From the Office of the Palauan President: “The impact of mass tourism for Palau will be slow to fully realize. The reefs will be broken and polluted, affecting the health of the ocean and speeding up the devastating effects of climate change on a small island nation. Trash and chemicals will clog beaches and effect the health of its rare wildlife and environment. Endangered species will become scarcer and could disappear forever. But by making changes now, the hope is to reverse this process to preserve and protect Palau.”
      • Subsistence fishing is a traditional economic activity in Palau. Overfishing and other extractive activities (such as collecting shells, corals, and seagrass) have reduced Palauan fisheries. Conservationists hope the eco-pledge will allow local fisheries to recover.




Nat Geo: Palau Becomes First Country to Require ‘Eco-Pledge’ Upon Arrival Pacific’s Palau forces tourists to sign eco-pledge

The Palau Pledge

Office of the President, Republic of Palau: What is the Palau Pledge?

Nat Geo: Pristine Seas: Palau

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