The Republic of Palau is a small-island group in the Western Pacific with a population of 20,000. However, most recently, over 160,000 tourists have visited annually. This has caused major risks to Palau’s environment with the islands left fragile from crushed corals and bottles dumped into the ocean. Urgent action was required to preserve its environment, including the heritage-listed Rock Islands and Marine Sanctuary. The challenge was to encourage visitors to consider their environmental footprint.
We launched a world-first entry visa process requiring all visitors to sign The Palau Pledge – a formal promise to act environmentally responsibly on the island, which would be stamped in their passports at immigration. It’s the first such global immigration policy and is endorsed by the UN and Greenpeace.
We engaged international figures to promote the Pledge, including Leonardo DiCaprio, former US Secretary of State, John Kerry and the Rolling Stones and secured in-depth coverage for the campaign, with influential media titles including The Guardian, BBC News, Forbes and China Daily, delivering 1.7 billion+ media impressions.
40,000 have already signed the Pledge with 2 million+ tourists predicted to sign it within 10 years. It is now used as best practice for international sustainable tourism.