Research funded by the Palau country program targets the country’s specific development challenges. Under the Palau-Australia Partnership for Development , Australia supports the clearance of unexploded ordnance – including landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants – around the islands of Palau.
Unexploded Ordnance Surveys (to be completed in 2013)
Cleared Ground Demining Palau team members at their storage facility in Peleliu, Palau.
Photo: Erin Magee / Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Since September 2009, the non-government organisation Cleared Ground Demining has been conducting a range of mine action activities such as risk awareness, survey, land and underwater clearance, and demolitions across Palau’s states.
In 2013, with the support of Australian Aid funding, the Cleared Ground Demining team will undertake extensive surveys throughout the western Palau states of Aimeliik, Ngatpang, Ngeremiengui, and Ngardmau. These states have been prioritised under these survey activities, as they were the scene of intensive bombardment throughout World War Two.
The team will conduct a door knock survey of every household in these states to ask for information on the known location of unexploded ordnance, whilst also reminding householders of the dangers they pose. The team will meet with community leaders such as Chiefs and women’s societies, and risk awareness pamphlets will be distributed to the community.
Underwater survey tasks will also be carried out in conservation areas, as well as heavily populated areas that are visited regularly for fishing or diving.
This support to Palau is part of Australia’s global efforts to reduce the threat and impact of landmines and other explosive remnants of war. Since 1997, Australia has provided more than $200 million in assistance, making it the sixth largest contributor to mine clearance efforts in the world.