Palau’s outgoing president, Tommy Remengesau, is being forced to defend a rising tide of criticism directed at a marine protected area previously considered a great national achievement.

The Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) has been hailed by the UN Ocean Conference as “one of the world’s most ambitious ocean conservation initiatives”. Fully operational since 1 January 2020, the sanctuary is designed to protect both Palau’s inshore fish stocks, and the global tuna population.

TWO Chinese companies are reportedly exploring for coal in the protected Hwange National Park, raising concerns from wildlife activists.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) rangers reportedly arrested some Chinese nationals inside the game park after finding doing some drilling.

While there's been a great hunger during the coronavirus pandemic to get outdoors, closures and access restrictions have no doubt played a role in a nearly 20 percent decline in visits to the National Park System through July.

According to the National Park Service's prelininary year-to-date visitation count, through July traffic to the parks was off by 36.4 million.

 © 2020 George Wright Society


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