Palau, a small island nation in the western Pacific, recently made headlines for becoming the first country in the world to ban sunscreens containing any one of the ten chemicals that could harm its beautiful coral reefs. These are the same chemicals targeted in Hawaii’s chemical sunscreen ban earlier this year.
Palau, which is home to 500 islands and over 21,000 people in the Micronesia region of the Pacific Ocean, is drawing ever greater numbers of tourists, but with this has come environmental degradation. Palau’s president, Tommy Remengesau, Jr., issued a statement, saying that citizens must not relinquish their responsibility for their islands:
“We must meet our duty, at every opportunity, to educate international visitors about how Palau has lasted in this uniquely untouched natural state for so long, and about how we can keep it this way.”