Intersections in Paradise: Economics and Sustainability in Palau, 2024

By William P. Barnett, Ingrid Ackermann
2024 | Case No. SUS-04 | Length 19 pgs.
Palau’s complex environmental and economic situation is explored. The nation has a growing economy and is a hotspot of marine biodiversity. Palau is taking steps to develop financial independence and continually maintain its environment, a complex challenge. For Palau, sustainability is not a goal but a necessity. The first half of the case describes Palau’s history, economics, environments, and geopolitical significance. The second half of the case explores specific challenges and decision making in Palau, closing with a pressing issue for debate.

Learning Objective

The case is designed to help students learn the connections between economic decision making and environmental health, especially biodiversity. There is a worldwide crisis of biodiversity, often overlooked now due to the global focus on carbon. This case is meant to broaden students’ understanding of sustainability. It also demonstrates a few examples of creative problem solving; ideally students will develop frameworks that they will carry into their future leadership roles.
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