Restoring Island-Ocean
Ecosystems

Palau Archipelago | Micronesia

The journey will be hosted by Dr. Penny Becker, Island Conservation’s incoming CEO (July 1st 2024), and Dr. Stuart Sandin, a community ecologist and Director of the Centre of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who will introduce you to key community partners making significant impacts across Palau.

13th - 24th
September 2024
HIGHLIGHTS

Ulong Archaeology Tour
Kayaking technicolour coral lagoons
Paddling through shark nurseries
Participating in e-DNA Collection
Diving in sites of historical & ecological importance

INCLUDED

Full board accommodation at Palau Pacific Resort
Three nights aboard the Palau Siren Liveaboard
Expert guiding & personal hosting throughout
Diving, kayaking & snorkelling activities
Community conservation activities
Citizen science research
Discovery of Palau’s communities, biodiversity & marine & terrestrial ecosystems

DETAILS

13th – 24th September
11 nights
$13,215 per person based on two people sharing
Arrive to Koror International Airport
Small group experience

RESTORING ISLAND-OCEAN ECOSYSTEMS

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the community champions weaving together traditional stewardship and science to protect Palau’s island-ocean ecosystems

WHAT TO EXPECT

Discover the extraordinary on-land and under-sea wonders of Palau during this 12-day hosted journey. You will explore colourful reefs, sheltered lagoons and forest trails alongside experienced local guides and Island Conservation and Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s expert conservationists and marine biologists. Encounter unparalleled biodiversity and rich culture as you dive, snorkel, kayak and explore archaeological heritage sites. Gain a greater understanding of Palau’s traditional stewardship, marine and terrestrial conservation ethics, and the invaluable significance of restoring island-ocean ecosystems to move the needle on the climate and biodiversity crises. All-inclusive. Excludes international flights.

CONSERVATION IMPACT

As a pioneer in marine conservation efforts that have had a significant impact on both local ecosystems and global conservation, Palau has established a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that cover approximately 80 percent of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). In 2009, Palau declared its waters a shark sanctuary, banning all commercial shark fishing within its EEZ. The nation has also implemented bans on destructive fishing practices like bottom trawling, and embraced sustainable tourism practices with eco-friendly accommodation and low-impact visitor activities. These efforts have helped to conserve critical habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds, in turn supporting biodiversity and helping to mitigate against climate change. Palau’s conservation efforts are closely tied to its cultural heritage and, as the ocean holds significant importance in Palauan culture, Palau also continues to safeguard its cultural identity and rich traditions by protecting its marine environments.

YOUR HOSTS

Meet your hosts:
Penny Becker and Stuart Sandin

Penny Becker

Penny joined Island Conservation in January 2020 and, as Vice President of Conservation and Island Conservation’s incoming CEO (July 1, 2024), will be your terrestrial journey host.

She received a BS in Biology from Willamette University and PhD in Wildlife Management from the University of Pretoria. After several years spent living, travelling and working internationally, Penny returned to the U.S Pacific Northwest where her work focused on recovering at-risk wildlife species and conserving biodiversity. Her wide-ranging conservation and research experience includes coastal community initiatives, fisher re-establishment and building cooperation across diverse people for natural resource challenges and establishing partnerships with governmental agencies, non-governmental organisations, citizens and industries for wildlife.

Stuart Sandin

Stuart Sandin is a community ecologist interested in considering the patterns of change in marine ecosystems, in particular, noting how ecological communities respond to variations in environmental conditions.

His research focuses largely on the ecology of coral reefs with the goal of finding effective management and restoration approaches for this threatened ecosystem.

Having received a BS in Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution from UC San Diego and PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, Dr. Sandin is a professor and serves as the Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Stuart will be your marine journey host.

JOURNEY GALLERY

A GLOBALLY UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
ON CONSERVATION IN ACTION

Frequently Asked Questions:
Journey to Palau

What is the climate like in Palau in September?

Palau has an equatorial climate meaning it is hot, humid and rainy throughout the year. In September temperatures range from 24-31℃ (76-88℉). Rainfall starts to decrease slightly following the rainier summer months, but you should still expect occasional heavy showers. 

Can you organise an extension to this Hosted Journey?

Absolutely! We would be delighted to put together a bespoke itinerary for you should you wish to extend your stay in Palau or visit another country before or after this journey. Whether you would like to spend more time exploring the breathtaking archipelago or venture elsewhere in the Pacific or Asia, please contact Lara ([email protected]) to start curating your bespoke itinerary.

What kind of activities will we be doing?

Your days will be spent discovering the extraordinary on-land and under-sea wonders of Palau. You will dive and snorkel in colourful reefs, kayak in sheltered lagoons, hike forest trails and explore archeological heritage sites. Evenings will be spent enjoying sundowners at the Palau Pacific Resort or onboard the Palau Siren Liveaboard, before feasting on delicious dinners with your fellow guests.

Where will we be staying?

This journey incorporates three nights aboard the Palau Siren Liveaboard and nine at the Palau Pacific Resort. The magnificent 40m Siren Liveaboard was built on the Indonesia island of Sulawesi and is handcrafted from traditional ironwood and teak. And the 5-star Palau Pacific Resort features beautifully designed guestrooms, suites and overwater bungalows. Both accommodations are well equipped with luxury amenities.

What happens after I book?

Once you have booked your trip the journey begins! Prior to departure, our team will share your personalised itinerary via the Safari Portal App which will contain all of the information about your journey. We will share reading and watching recommendations and updates from the field, so that you can begin your learning journey from home. In the days prior to your trip, you will be connected with your hosts and fellow guests on a whatsapp group as the excitement builds! The JWP team will be on hand in the lead up to and during your journey to assist with any questions you may have.

What is the best international airport to arrive at and depart from?

International flights are not included and are to be booked separately. There is only one international airport in Palau - Roman Tmetuchl International Airport (also known as Palau International Airport). Direct flights to Palau can be booked from Manila, Guam, Taipei, Narita, Korea and Tokyo. The most common route to Palau from the US is via Hawaii and Guam.

Who looks after us during our journey?

You will be joined on this journey by a JWP host. They will be on hand to assist with any questions or requests prior to or during your journey.

 

Can this journey be organised for a private group?

This journey to Palau from 13th-24th September 2024 has been designed to bring together a small group of curious and likeminded people who want to deepen their understanding of and engagement with pioneering projects involved in the restoration of island-ocean ecosystems. However, if you are unable to join the journey in September or would like to organise a transformative impact experience in Palau (or elsewhere) with a private group, our Journey Planners would be delighted to organise this for you. Please reach out to the JWP team on [email protected] to begin creating your unique impact journey.

Journeys to champion the
wild and celebrate conservation

Where will your impact journey take you?

As a mission-led business our journeys are designed to be transformative, on the traveller and on the people and places you engage with.  When you book a journey with us you become part of our growing community of changemakers – the curious, the intrepid, those looking to engage with the natural world on a deeper level.  To learn, exchange and realise change.  

A journey starts with a discovery call with our expert team.  These journeys are personal  – they offer connection and insights into cultures, wildlife and landscapes in wild corners of the world – for an experience that has a positive impact, long after you return home.

Our news from across the globe

At a Glance: Fundación
Rewilding Argentina

1,850,000

…acres (or 750,000 hectares) of land protected.

264,000,000

…metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent sequestered.

370,658

…acres donated for new parkland creation.

OUR FOCUS - THE IBERÁ NATIONAL PARK:

This extraordinary wetland, the largest in Argentina, is home to 30% of the biodiversity in the country including endangered species such as the pampas and marsh deer, the maned wolf and grassland birds like the strange-tailed tyrant.

In 2005, what was to become one of the largest rewilding programs in the Americas was started, with the goal of restoring keystone species that had been extirpated from Iberá through hunting and habitat loss and were extinct in the region, the Province or, in some cases, the country. 

As the rewilding program developed, the cultural identity of Iberá began to recover alongside the ecosystems and natural processes, impacting a total population of 100,000 people who surround the park.

Today, Iberá stands as one of the world’s most successful ongoing conservation missions.