Growing up in Palau in the western Pacific Ocean, Surangel Whipps Jr. played on the reefs and spearfished on an island teeming with birds, giant clams, fish, and turtles.
President Tommy Remengesau Jr. of the Pacific island nation of Palau has cemented a legacy as the world’s most effective protector of marine life by creating a giant marine reserve that will directly benefit his people through increasing tourism and securing its food supply, scientists say.
In pure numbers, the past few decades have been marked by destruction: over the last 40 years, Earth has lost 52 percent of its wild animals; nearly 17 percent of the world’s forests have been felled in the last half-century; freshwater ecosystems have witnessed a 75-percent decline in animal populations since 1970; and nearly 95 percent of coral reefs are today threatened by pollution, coastal development and overfishing.
On Dec. 18, 2007, the approval of a resolution for a moratorium on executions by the United Nations General Assembly was hailed as a milestone in the struggle to abolish the death penalty worldwide. It is true that the United Nations may not impose the abolition of the death penalty, but the moral and political value of the resolution is undeniable.
Sharks have a safe haven the size of France, and the Republic of Palau that protects them is making millions of dollars from shark tourism.