The main purpose of the protected areas designation is biodiversity conservation.
However, in many countries, other reasons can become the main motivations for establishing a protected area, like, for example, the preservation of traditional values, the conservation of peculiar landscapes and seascapes, the protection of archeological and historical sites and the sustainable management of ecosystems goods and services.
In Palau, the Protected Areas Network (PAN) is not only the pillar of biodiversity conservation, but also the spine of sustainable management and conservation of ecosystems services.
Many protected areas were designated in Palau to preserve fish nursery areas, with a total prohibition of fishery and aquaculture activities, to manage tourist, recreational and fishery activities in a sustainable way, as is the case in the Southern Lagoon Management Area, or to promote the traditional sustainable use of forests.
In these cases, different ecosystem services, like recreation, cultural values preservation, food, regulation, are conserved in specific protected areas. Local communities’ members, as well as institutions, recognize in the protected areas system a way to maintain livelihoods, well-being and a healthy environment for them and for future generations.