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Humanitarian Disarmament in Palau

Humanitarian Disarmament in Palau

Seventy-three years after the end of WWII, Palau is still contaminated with Explosive Remnants of War(ERW) on land and in the sea.

The ERW includes UXO and AXO. NPA is providing support in developing a national team who can record and plan all tasks via a national database (IMSMA & Google Earth).  Our aim is to lead Palau with the knowledge and skill to take care of the types of ammunition left over from WWII.

The NPA program in the Republic of Palau started 1st of April 2015. After approximately 1.5 years of planning and agreeing on a memorandum of understanding, the project began work on a Non-Technical Survey (NTS) in June 2016. The NTS identified 188 hazardous areas and a work plan was drawn up to take care of these tasks ending in February 2020. Since that date, the work plan has increased by at least 60 additional tasks.

Contamination exists throughout all 16 states of Palau as a result of the Japanese occupation and the American invasion. The types of ammunition found are: projectiles, mortars, rockets, anti-aircraft ammunition, grenades, aircraft bombs, sea mines, beach mines, and torpedoes.

Palau relies heavily on tourism including WWII tourism, so all clearance must be carried out with this in mind, for example, limiting the amount of loud demolitions.


Fast facts

Palau is contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO) dating back to World War II.

Palau has a very small population of around 20,000; 6,000 of which are migrant workers.

Palau consists of about 240 islands.

Palau was first discovered by the Spanish, and has been occupied by the Germans, Japanese and Americans.

Firearms were first introduced to Palau in 1783 by Captain Henry Wilson.