I wish I'd done that...
By Claire Scott
…Won 8 D&AD pencils, created a new legislation, helped save the planet…
Yeah, I know. No biggy.
Ok, so maybe not quite the WHOLE planet. But a little bit of it. 466 square kilometres to be precise.
An archipelago of islands in the western Pacific Ocean. And it’s making waves for all the right reasons.
It is the thirteenth smallest nation in the world with a population of less than 20,000 people but it sees over 160,000 visitors to its shores each year. From the picture above it’s pretty clear to see why.
However, the tourism they need to survive is also what is sadly destroying it. Tourists are damaging reefs, littering oceans and poaching protected species. How could such a small island, with limited resources, police such a high number of visitors?
The answer was simple and lay in partnership with the Palau Legacy Project and Host/Havas’ brilliant solution: The Palau Pledge.
The tourists would police themselves. Simple.
Palau would become the first nation on earth to only issue tourist visas to those who sign an eco-pledge to act in an environmentally friendly way.
An immigration stamp was designed (in 5 different languages, no less) which requires all the island nation’s visitors to sign—right in their passports—an agreement not to damage or exploit the natural resources.
And before you think it’s an empty threat, policy has also been put in place by the Palauan Government enabling action to be taken against those who break the conditions of the Pledge, with fines of up to $1 million USD for offences committed.
Now, not only is this a great solution to an ever-increasing problem. It is also beautifully crafted. The circle of the Palau flag inspired the logo which recreates the symbol for sign here. The logo remains incomplete until signed, making the signatures part of the completed design.
Beautifully designed pictograms, posters and passport leaflets supported the campaign. As well as a pretty lovely animated landing video that all visitors have to see on arrival to Palau.
I think it’s amazing to see a campaign that is so beautifully simple in both concept and design AND has the added bonus of making a real difference to our planet.
So far 82,225 pledges (and counting) have been made, with a predicted 2+ million signatures expected over the next 10 years.
I also suspect it'll scoop up a few Lions at Cannes this week whilst it's at it.
Palau. Not just a pretty place.