Noah Idechong was born and raised in a small fishing village on the east coat of Babeldaob island in Palau. He finished high school in Minnesota as an exchange student with the American Field Service program. After graduating from Hawaii Pacific College with a degree in Business Administration, Idechong returned to Palau to teach high school.
A hastily built road through his village changed the features of his community and boyhood fishing ground and led him to change his career path. Idechong developed a keen interest in marine resource development and management issues, moving from an administrative position to an officer in the Palau Natural Resources Division. With his fisherman's instincts and knowledge of traditional fishing values and practices, he spent the next 10 years working with fishermen and learning the challenges they faced as a result of modern development.
Idechong also traveled overseas to gain knowledge about the way in which other countries were addressing coastal resource management issues. His travels took him to Europe, Asia and throughout the South Pacific where he began to appreciate efforts by scientists, managers and administrators and build partnerships and links with villages and communities. In 1990, Idechong became the chief of the Marine Resources Division where he oversaw the development and management of Palau's marine resources.
In 1994, he and other concerned Palauan community leaders founded the Palau Conservation Society, a non-profit non-governmental organization devoted to protecting Palau's environment. Idechong was elected as the founding director where he now works actively with various partners to address the environmental challenges facing his country.
The Nature Conservancy Micronesia
Bachelor of Science, Hawaii Pacific College
1976 - Business Administration, Hawaii, USA
KEY LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
Palau Sports Fishing Association
2006-PRESENT- Vice President
Palau Conservation Society
1994- PRESENT- Founding Board Member
Palau Election Commission
1992- 1996- Commissioner
Palau Community Action Agency
1987- 1989- Board Member
Palau National Scholarship Board
1987- 1989- Board Member
Ngiwal Constitutional Convention
KEY AWARDS & HONORS
"Hero for the Planet"
2000 - Time.com
Distinguished Service Award
1998 - Society of Conservation Biology
1997 - Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation
Goldman Environmental Prize
Exceptional Performance Award
1989 - Government of Palau
Outstanding Performance Award
1987 - Government of Palau
Graham, T. and N. Idechong. 1998. Reconciling customary and constitutional law: Managing marine resources in Palau, Micronesia. Ocean & Coastal Management 40(2): 143
Idechong, N., C. Cook and G.Wiles. 1992. Observations on the defensive and aggressive behavior of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) at sea. Herpetological Review 23(3): 70
Thomas, P.J., P. Holthus and N. Idechong. 1990. Proposed Management Plan for Ngerukewid Islands. Republic of Palau. SPREP Publication