Visitors to the tiny island nation of Palau in the Pacific Ocean are now being required to sign a pledge that they will not damage the environment during their stay, The Guardian reports. It is the first such immigration policy in the world.
Stamped in travelers’ passports, the pledge is a formal promise to Palau’s children that visitors will “preserve and protect your beautiful and unique island home.”
“I vow to tread lightly, act kindly, and explore mindfully. I shall not take what is not given. I shall not harm what does not harm me,” it reads. More than 6,000 visitors have already signed the pledge in the first two weeks of it being enacted.
In addition to signing the pledge, tourists get a list of activities that they are not allowed to do, or risk a fine. They must not collect marine life souvenirs, for example, feed fish or sharks, touch coral, litter, or take fruit or flowers from gardens.
“While Palau may be a small-island nation, we are a large ocean-state and conservation is at the heart of our culture,” said Palauan President Tommy Remengesau. “We rely on our environment to survive, and if our beautiful country is lost to environmental degradation, we will be the last generation to enjoy both its beauty and life-sustaining biodiversity.”