Enhancing Palau’s Eco Paradise radio station to broadcast climate resilience information
Awareness about climate resilience, health and environmental stewardship in Palau has received a timely boost with the delivery of broadcasting equipment and other materials to the radio station managed by the Ministry of State’s Bureau of Domestic Affairs.
The Bureau’s Division of Media and Information Services received more than EUR 100,000 worth of equipment and a media van to enhance its radio station, Eco Paradise 87.9 FM, to provide live radio coverage from all around Palau about adapting to climate change and building resilience.
The efforts are part of the European Union (EU) funded, Global Climate Change Alliance Plus – Scaling up Pacific Adaptation (GCCA+ SUPA) project, implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).
Palau like many island countries is experiencing the effects of climate change, which impact water quality and exacerbate the vulnerability of local communities to vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever.
The GCCA+ SUPA project in Palau is focusing on the health sector and specifically working with communities, schools and youth to address these and other impacts and to share practical information and positive stories about building resilience to climate change.
The delivery of broadcast equipment has significantly facilitated the production of live broadcasts from communities throughout the country.
“We are very thankful to the EU and the SUPA project for this support. It has tremendously improved our broadcasting capabilities. We are now able to broadcast in real time and simultaneously on our Facebook and You Tube channels, expanding our reach to the people living in the other states who can access this information on our social media pages,” noted Lorraine Franz, Chief- Division of Media and Information Services in the Ministry of State’s Bureau of Domestic Affairs.
“We are also working closely with the partner government agencies involved in the project, namely the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and environmental and conservation institutions to feature their activities in the different states and supporting the education and learning activities specially for our youth,” she added.
The project has also provided a fully operational media van that will enable the state broadcaster to remotely air live news and community events from Babeldoab and Koror through a wireless system including the ability to conduct live interviews on television.
“Through the new technology and equipment we now have, we are able to livestream the weekly President’s address and press conferences. We were also able to provide regular updates during the recent Typhoon Surigae that battered our islands in April 2021 including important information on emergency shelters. This was broadcasted on radio and our social media pages and despite the power outages, which lasted for several days, people were still able to access this information.
We are moving quickly and disseminating information faster. This is enabling us to compete with other private broadcasters,” said Lorraine Franz.
The equipment has also arrived at a critical time, with COVID-19 cases increasing in some parts of the Pacific, it is helping the Palauan government deliver daily, accurate preparedness information about the pandemic to its citizens.