On this World Press Freedom Day, the Palau Media Council stands firmly with journalists around the globe. The theme, ‘A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis,’ is especially relevant to our island nation.

The climate crisis is an important story in the country and the Pacific region. Palau, with approximately 1,500km of coastline, is highly vulnerable to extreme high tides, coastal erosion, and sea-level rise.

This year Palau faces an increase in drought and storm activity, sea-surface temperature, and coral bleaching, all of which are related to climate change. A free press is vital to informing our communities about the environmental challenges we face and holding all accountable for protecting our precious environment.

We celebrate the courageous work of journalists and recommit ourselves to defending press freedom, ensuring a strong and independent media that serves the people of Palau.

Moving forward, we pledge to prioritise climate crisis stories, ensuring they take centre stage in our coverage. We will amplify important voices advocating for environmental protection.

Furthermore, we urge our government to reaffirm its commitment to safeguarding press freedom and protecting local journalists. Together, let us work towards preserving our planet.