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Palau

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Hesperian Health Guides is a nonprofit health information and health education source that supports individuals and communities in their struggles to realize the right to health. We develop easy to read materials that are produced in many languages. All are available through our bookstore and for free online on our ...See More HealthWiki. Show Less
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SEE International provides sustainable medical, surgical, and educational services through volunteer ophthalmic surgeons with the objectives of restoring sight and preventing blindness to disadvantaged individuals worldwide.
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Environment
Although the islands in the Southwest Pacific are not big producers of greenhouse gases and carbon emissions, they are affected by manmade pollution from around the world. Climate change is causing sea levels to rise, which threatens low-lying islands and causes coastal erosion.1 Land loss and flooding are destructive to those who live on the islands, where residents are powerless to stop the effects of climate change. They rely on the rest of the world to cut back on carbon emissions in order to save their homeland.2 Palau is home to a very diverse marine environment. The islands are covered in volcanic rock and rainforest. After World War I, approximately 25% of the natural forestry was destroyed by the Japanese to make room for pineapple ...See More and sugar plantations. Thanks to low population density, Palau’s environment is in relatively good condition.3 Show Less

Show References
1 http://www.sidsnet.org/aosis-issues/
2 http://www.irinnews.org/feature/2009/10/05/island-nations-frustrated-climate-talks
3 https://www.worldwildlife.org/ecoregions/oc0110
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Geography

Oceania, group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean, southeast of the Philippines
Area

Total 459 sq km
Land 459 sq km
Water 0 sq km

Climate

tropical; hot and humid; wet season May to November
Natural Resources

forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals ;
Natural Hazards

typhoons (June to December)
Current Environmental Issues

inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing

Demographics

Nationality
Palauan
Population
21,108 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Finances

The economy consists of tourism and other services such as trade, subsistence agriculture, and fishing. Government is a major employer of the work force relying on financial assistance from the US under the Compact of Free Association (Compact) with the US. The Compact took effect, after the end of the UN trusteeship on 1 October 1994. The US provided Palau with roughly $700 million in aid for the first 15 years following commencement of the Compact in 1994 in return for unrestricted access to its land and waterways for strategic purposes. Business and leisure tourist arrivals numbered over 109,000 in ...See More 2011, for a 27% increase over 2010. The population enjoys a per capita income roughly double that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia. Long-run prospects for tourism have been bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of industrial East Asia, and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development. Proximity to Guam, the region's major destination for tourists from East Asia, and a regionally competitive tourist infrastructure enhance Palau's advantage as a destination. Show Less ;
GDP Purchasing Power Parity

$221 million (2011 est.); $208.9 million (2010 est.)
Agriculture Products

coconuts, copra, cassava (tapioca), sweet potatoes; fish
Industries

tourism, craft items (from shell, wood, pearls), construction, garment making