Palau Presides Over Adoption of Historic UN Arms Trade Treaty

2 April – The United Nations General Assembly has voted to adopt a historic arms trade treaty, with Palau presiding over the final vote (pictured). The agreement, which has been years in the making, would regulate the international trade in arms and conventional weapons. A majority of countries were in favor, with 154 Member States voting in support, 3 against, and 23 abstaining.

Read more from the UN News Centre here:

UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz
UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

A ‘historic’ day for marine species protection at CITES

The 16th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was a historic event for marine species. The proposals to protect three kinds of sharks and two kinds of manta rays were upheld in the final debate on March 14th. This means that trade regulations will help these endangered species to recover. Read more from the BBC:


Palau Makes World Heritage List

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recently named the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon a world heritage site, earning Palau a spot on the World Heritage List. Read more at, and check out the world heritage list at


Brittle star species not seen since World War II found in Palau

An expedition led by instructors of USC Dornsife’s Scientific Research Diving program recently found specimens of a possible new species of Echinoderm. Recent dives in Palau uncovered three small Echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea (Brittle Stars), close relatives of starfish. This particular type of Brittle Star was last seen roughly 76 years ago by Japanese researchers in Palau. For pictures and further information read the original article at:

brittle star