How one island nation is taming tourists

PALAU, an archipelago made up of some 200 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, has introduced a “passport pledge” that visitors must sign before entering the country. The island community has introduced the unique pledge in the hope it will help preserve their homeland for the generations to come.

It is the first nation to change its immigration laws in order to protect the environment.

While tourism can bring many social and economic benefits to a region, it can also cause extensive damage. Mass tourism in Palau is having a devastating impact on the limestone and volcanic islands, with its rich biodiversity under threat. Water supply, beaches, coral reefs and heritage sites are all affected.

The pledge, which was drafted with the help of children from across Palau, reads:

“Children of Palau, I take this pledge, as your guest, to preserve and protect your beautiful and unique island home.

“I vow to tread lightly, act kindly and explore mindfully. I shall not take what is not gi…

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