Apr 19, 2018

Okeanos Foundation for the Sea Extends Vaka Motu Project to Republic of Palau

Okeanos Foundation for the Sea (Okeanos) honors Palau’s strong and consistent environmental leadership by selecting Palau as a recipient of a Vaka Motu – a modernized traditional Pacific sailing canoe to the Republic of Palau. Okeanos provides, at no cost to Pacific island nations, traditionally designed fossil fuel-free sailing canoes called Vaka Motus internationally certified for open ocean commercial use and equipped with solar panels and coconut oil engines.

Okeanos’ philanthropic mission is to support island communities as they use their own traditional vessels and native energy sources of sun, coconut oil and wind, to meet their countries’ needs for sustainable sea transportation, disaster relief and climate change preparedness. Okeanos will begin discussion with Palau about the potential need and use of a Vaka Motu to meet the needs of the Palauan people. After identifying a local crew and transportation activities to fully engage Vaka Motu, Okeanos will make Palau a priority destination for one of the Vaka Motus they are now building.

The Vaka Motu sails with a contemporary rig. It has a sail area of 615 square feet (58 square meters), a length of 50 feet, a 20-foot beam, a two and a half foot draft (80 cm) and is operated by a four men crew for normal operation.

President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., expressed his gratitude to Okeanos Chairman Dieter Paulmann in a letter communication stating, “on behalf of the people of Palau I express my profound gratitude in your foundation’s efforts for awareness for our Pacific island traditions and safeguarding our Oceans. I thank you for including the Republic of Palau in the Vaka Motu project. As practical and ingenious as it is, the project truly conveys the wisdom of our ancestors in their care for the environment. And, it is truly refreshing to see the innovation of modern islander wisdom being implemented today by your foundation and so many of our fellow islanders striving to make a difference towards environmental sustainability within our region. On behalf of the people of Palau, it is my pleasure to accept your designation for Palau as a recipient of a Vaka Motu. My Office will work with you in making the necessary arrangements for this project to commence in the Republic of Palau. Again, I thank you and I look forward to our work together.”

Article by Rolynda Jonathan, Deputy Press Secretary of the office of the president of the Republic of Palau, p