Palau

Landforms, bodies of water, plateaus, mountain ranges, plains.

Palau consists of a chain of about 200 islands located in the western Pacific Ocean, 528 miles southeast of the Philippines. The islands range from mountainous to low coral islands fringed by large barrier reefs.

Climates

Palau enjoys a tropical climate, warm year round with the average temperature being 82 degrees. Average yearly rainfall is 150 inches, most rain falls between July and October but still with plenty of sunshine. Average humidity is 82 percent. Typhoons are rare.

Plants and animals.

Birds found nowhere else include the Palau Fruit Dove, the Palau Scops Owl, the Giant White-eye, the Palau Swiftlet, the Palau Bush-warbler, the Palau Fantail, and the Morning Bird.Mammals unique to Palau are the Palau Fruit Bat, the Large Palau Flying Fox, and the Palau Frog. As well as numerous marine life, reptiles and insects found only in Palau. There are over 130 plant species exclusive to Palau

Natural resources

Natural resources of Palau include forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals.

History

The islands of Palau have a long history of human inhabitation and it is believed that they were first settled over 4,000 years ago when people migrated from what is present-day Indonesia. Europeans landed on Palau beginning in the 18th century when British traders landed on the islands. By the 19th century however, Spain began to influence Palau. Following the end of the Spanish-American War Spain sold Palau and other nearby islands to Germany in 1899. In 1914 Germany gave control of the islands to Japan and in 1947 that control was passed on to the United States when they became a part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

People and languages

Palauans are Micronesian with Melanesian and Malayan mix which makes up 70% of the islands population. The other 30% is made up of Filipino, Japanese, Chinese and Other Micronesian people.

Land use

Because of its tropical island landscape and location, Palau's economy consists mainly of tourism and the related service sector. However subsistence agriculture and fishing as well as several small industries are also common on the islands. Palau's government is also a main employer and it receives considerable foreign financial assistance from the United States. Other industries in Palau include craft items made from shell, wood and peals, as well as the construction and garment making industries. The main agricultural products of Palau are coconuts, copra, cassava, sweet potatoes and fish

Religion and education

Top three Religions in Palau are Roman Catholic 40%, Protestant 24%, and Modekngei (indigenous to Palau) 9%. Education in Palau follows American system of K-12, school is mandatory until age 16, based on credits achieved as opposed to years in school. No university education in Palau except for distant learning online, there is vocational education available for trades at the community college.

Traditions, customs, and food

Traditional Palauan culture dictates that women are integral in the leadership of the clans. They pick who is going to be chief, how property is handed down, and are keepers of the wealth.The main food cultivated is taro with other foods such as sweet potato, tapioca, bananas and breadfruit being an important part of the diet and of course seafood is a main part of Palaun dietbeing an island country.

Current issues

Palau has been in the news most recently because problems associated with rising sea levels and environmental degradation. Flooding of its low lying areas is becoming a major threat to Palau's coastal vegetation (which is in turn changing coastal erosion patterns) and its agriculture. In addition, it is causing problems to Palau's water supplies.