Working Group Supports Palau to Create Marine Protected Area

SMEA faculty member Dr. Patrick Christie participated, as one of two social scientists, in a diverse working group organized by the Palaua International Coral Reef Center and Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions. His role was to provide guidance, drawing from his extensive work in other contexts, on the human dimensions of marine protected area (MPA) planning, program monitoring and evaluation, and public engagement—all elements that determine the success of any MPA.

SMEA faculty member Patrick Christie, wearing a green, short-sleeved, button up shirt, holding a wooden plaque shakes hands with Palau's President, Thomas Remengesau Jr.
Patrick Christie
SMEA Faculty member, Patrick Christie shakes hands with Palau’s President, Thomas Remengesau Jr.

As a result of this working group’s collaboration, Palau will now be home to one of the largest MPAs in the world. Balancing the benefits of marine conservation with Palauan food security and economic development goals was a primary consideration in this work.

Five fishing boats tied together side-by-side at the end of a dock. The ocean water is clear with a teal hue and other smaller boats are tied to the dock in the distance.
Image from Palau's National Marine Sanctuary: Managing Ocean Change and Supporting Food Security. Report of an Expert Working Group Convened by Palau International Coral Reef Center and Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions
Fishing vessels docked in Palau.

Read the full working group report here.

Learn more about Dr. Patrick Christie and his work.

The bow of white boat is in the foreground, floating on aquamarine water near Palau. Shoreline can be seen in the distance, covered with short trees.
Patrick Christie
Boating in the waters off of Palau.