The Republic of Palau is a relatively new IAEA Member State, having joined the Agency in 2008. Palau has recently started to take part in the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme, initially participating in a number of regional projects on institutional development, the establishment of regional networks for research and education, agriculture and health. In 2012 and 2013, the country initiated its first national TC projects, focusing on establishing a national radiation safety infrastructure, improving the quality of X ray diagnostic radiology imaging, and integrated insect pest management to fight fruit flies and improve the quality of fruits and vegetables.
Palau is now in the process of preparing its first Country Programme Framework (CPF), a document that provides a frame of reference for technical cooperation between a Member State and the IAEA. CPFs define mutually agreed priority development needs and interests that can be supported through TC activities. Palau’s first Country Programme Framework will cover the period 2014–2018.
From 22 to 25 July 2013, national representatives from Palau visited the IAEA headquarters in Vienna to discuss Palau’s national development needs and priorities with IAEA officials.
As one of the newest Member States of the IAEA, Palau is developing its first CPF taking into account the country’s needs and socioeconomic situation. Palau’s draft CPF identifies seven priority areas: human health; food and agriculture; environment protection and sustainability; water resource management; human resource development; sustainable energy; and the development of a nuclear framework and legislative capacity. The draft CPF paves the way for future collaboration between the country and the IAEA and provides a basis for planning and implementing technical cooperation activities during the next two years.
The meeting at the IAEA headquarters follows an earlier expert mission to Palau organized by the IAEA to support the drafting of the CPF. This early draft was submitted to the IAEA in April, and served as the basis for the subsequent discussions.
Consisting of over 300 islands in the Pacific Ocean region, Palau relies heavily on its marine environment for tourism and fisheries. To protect the marine environment and ensure its sustainability, the country also takes part in a regional TC project, which aims to study the post-Fukushima impacts on the marine environment in the Asia-Pacific region and make scientific assessments of the data. Palau will be hosting a review meeting for the post-Fukushima project in August 2013.