Palau And Its Ecology Programs
Palau turned to crowd funding to support it ecology programs. Palau is a small country that plans on making a big impact on the world's ecology. Two years ago, the 177 square mile country was part of an agreement creating a shark sanctuary. That agreement includes the four members of Federated States of Micronesia (FSM is made up of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae) as well as the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Marshall Islands. Itresulted in a regional sanctuary covering 5 million square kilometers. Earlier this year, the country shocked the world by banning commercial fishing within it 200 mile economic zone. By international treaties, each country has economical control of the open seas up to 200 miles from its coast or half way to another country. While free transit past 12 miles can not be infringed upon, a country can control the resources such as oil and gas. Fish are also a resource. Palau's waters are home to over 1,000 species of tropical fish, and their new national marine sanctuary will cover approximately 600,000 square kilometers, an area about the size of France or Texas. This action is the latest ocean conservation move from a country whose constitution requires leaders to "take positive action to conserve a beautiful, healthful and resourceful natural environment."
While there is still some commercial operations still taking place because of previous international agreements, those countries such as Japan have been informed that the agreements will not be extended. Smaller operations often call subsistence fishing is still allowed as is recreational fishing. As the ban went into effect it became clear that the government had no means to enforcing its sanctuary.They had in fact only one vessel to cover the entire area. The government turned to a new method of funding activities. Called Crowd funding, it is a process where people are asked to donate to a cause, be it commercial or non-profit. By getting hundreds even thousands of people around the world interested in an idea or project, each donating or investing a small amount, large amounts of investment can be raised. Often with no need to return the money.
According to reports, the government of Palau felt they needed to raise $100,000 to implement its territorial monitoring and enforcement plans.They turned to a crowd funding site to raise the money and were successful according to reports.