24/7 eTV BreakingNewsShow : Click on the volume button (lower left of the video screen)
Associations News Breaking Travel News Micronesia Breaking News News Tourism Travel Destination Update Travel Wire News

Palau Island plans sunscreen ban to save coral

Palau
Palau
Written by Alain St.Ange

The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau will ban “reef-toxic” sunscreens from 2020 in what it claims is a world-first initiative to stop chemical pollution killing its famed corals.

Palau, which lies in the western Pacific about halfway between Australia and Japan, is regarded as one of the world’s best diving destinations, but the government is concerned its popularity is coming at a cost.

A spokesman for President Tommy Remengesau said there was scientific evidence that the chemicals found in most sunscreens are toxic to corals, even in minute doses.

He said Palau’s dive sites typically hosted about four boats an hour packed with tourists, leading to concerns a build-up of chemicals could see the reefs reach tipping point.

“On any given day that equates to gallons of sunscreen going into the ocean in Palau’s famous dive spots and snorkeling places,” he told AFP.

“We’re just looking at what we can do to prevent pollution getting into the environment.”
The government has passed a law banning “reef-toxic” sunscreen from Jan 1, 2020.

Anyone importing or selling banned sunscreen from that date faces a US$1,000 (3,300 baht) fine, while tourists who bring it into the country will have it confiscated.

“The power to confiscate sunscreens should be enough to deter their non-commercial use, and these provisions walk a smart balance between educating tourists and scaring them away,” Remengesau told parliament after the bill passed last week.

The US state of Hawaii announced a ban on reef toxic sunscreens in May this year, but it does not come into force until 2021, a year after Palau’s.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Alain St.Ange

Alain St Ange has been working in the tourism business since 2009. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel.

He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. After one year of

After one year of service, he was promoted to the position of CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board.

In 2012 the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional Organization was formed and St Ange was appointed as the first president of the organization.

In a 2012 cabinet re-shuffle, St Ange was appointed as Minister of Tourism and Culture which he resigned on 28 December 2016 in order to pursue a candidacy as Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation.

At the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu in China, a person who was being sought after for the “Speakers Circuit” for tourism and sustainable development was Alain St.Ange.

St.Ange is the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who left office in December last year to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO. When his candidature or document of endorsement was withdrawn by his country just a day before the elections in Madrid, Alain St.Ange showed his greatness as a speaker when he addressed the UNWTO gathering with grace, passion, and style.

His moving speech was recorded as the one on the best marking speeches at this UN international body.

African countries often remember his Uganda address for the East Africa Tourism Platform when he was a guest of honor.

As former Tourism Minister, St.Ange was a regular and popular speaker and was often seen addressing forums and conferences on behalf of his country. His ability to speak ‘off the cuff’ was always seen as a rare ability. He often said he speaks from the heart.

In Seychelles he is remembered for a marking address at the official opening of the island’s Carnaval International de Victoria when he reiterated the words of John Lennon famous song… ” you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. One day you will all join us and the world will be better as one”. The world press contingent gathered in Seychelles on the day ran with the words by St.Ange which made headlines everywhere.

St.Ange delivered the keynote address for the “Tourism & Business Conference in Canada”

Seychelles is a good example for sustainable tourism. This is therefore not surprising to see Alain St.Ange being sought after as a speaker on the international circuit.

Member of Travelmarketingnetwork.