The Green politician has reached the next stop on her trip to Asia and is visiting an endangered nature reserve. She also wants to talk to those affected by climate change.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock continued her trip to Asia with a visit to the island state of Palau in the West Pacific. The Green politician informed herself there on Saturday about the dramatic effects of the global climate crisis.
First, the Minister visited Ngkesill Island, which is part of the “Rock Islands”, by boat. The “Rock Islands” are an archipelago in the center of Palau, about 40 kilometers long, which is surrounded by a dense coral reef. Climate change is seen as the biggest potential threat to the islands.
The archipelago consists of up to 500 islands, none of which are permanently inhabited. According to the federal government, the nature reserve there offers rare manatees, thirteen species of sharks, more than 350 different types of coral, birds, bats and plants a habitat largely untouched by tourism. A large part of the archipelago was declared a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site by Unesco in 2012.
conversations with those affected
In the municipality of Melekeok on the east coast of the island of Badeldaob, which is known for its long sandy beaches, Baerbock wanted to visit erosion damage on the local beach and speak to local residents. A speech on climate and security was also planned. The minister also wanted to seek dialogue with fishermen affected by climate change.
Consultations with Palau’s foreign minister, Gustav Aitaro, were scheduled to take place in the capital, Ngerulmud, in the afternoon. Ngerulmud has about 250 inhabitants and is often referred to as the smallest capital in the world. From 1899 to 1914 Palau was a German colony.
Even before she left, Baerbock had emphasized that the rising sea level was threatening to swallow Palau. The inhabitants lost their livelihood. This is a reminder to act as a community. If you want to survive in the fight against the climate crisis and in maintaining the global order, the experience and voice of smaller states like Palau are also important.