Tommy Remengesau, Jr

Panel Member Title
President of Palau

Panel Member About
President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. of Palau is a recognized environment champion. He served as President from 2001-2009, and was elected again in 2012 and 2016. He also served as Vice President from 1993-2001, during which Palau gained its independence and joined the United Nations.

As President, he continues to work towards Palau’s sustainable development, prioritizing the conservation of the environment and Palau’s attractiveness to tourists through his ‘Pristine Paradise Palau’ policy. He has emphasized the importance of developing partnerships with NGOs, business, philanthropists, and regional and global institutions to support Palau’s development.

He has been active in enhancing Palau's presence at the United Nations on areas such as non-communicable diseases and nuclear disarmament. He has raised Palau’s profile amongst the international community through environmental initiatives such as the Micronesia Challenge, mobilizing protected area commitments among the Micronesian island states and territories, and the Palau Pledge, incorporating into Palau’s immigration regulations a pledge that visitors make upon arrival to act in an ecologically responsible way

In 2015, he signed landmark legislation establishing the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, closing 80% of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone to commercial fishing while maintaining 20% for domestic fishing and food security.

He was named a TIME Magazine Hero of the Environment in 2007, and in 2014, a UNEP Champion of the Earth.