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Palau Pledge honored with D&AD’s Black Pencil accolade of the decade

Palau Pledge honored with D&AD’s Black Pencil accolade of the decade

Media Release

Palau, 21 September, 2020: Palau Pledge has again been honored with a prestigious international award by D&AD (Design & Art Directors), winning Black Pencil of the Decade in a virtual ceremony that took place in London last week.

The British D&AD awards recognize and celebrate the best of global creativity and design in communications, and are considered the pinnacle of excellence by the marketing industry. D&AD Black Pencils are extremely rare, with judging rated the toughest in the world. Palau Pledge received two of these prestigious awards in 2018, making it one of only two projects in the world ever to do so.

This latest accolade was awarded after an online public vote of the best creative work of the last decade. Out of 17 Black Pencils awarded globally in the last 10 years, just three projects were recognized as Black Pencil of the Decade, with Palau Pledge being one of them.

When the original Black Pencils were awarded in 2018, D&AD judges said Palau Pledge won because it was “an idea that drives positive change and has the potential to impact the world”.

Commenting on the public’s decision to award Palau Pledge the title of Black Pencil of the Decade, Chairman of D&AD, Tim Lindsay, said, “Palau Pledge is a striking example of the importance of creativity and creative people in addressing the planet’s problems. The campaign unifies environmental consciousness with beautiful design, and marks a new chapter for country branding and identity. Every nation should be inspired. It is no surprise that the industry chose this as their favourite Design Black Pencil of the Decade. It really is one of a kind.”

First Lady, Debbie Remengesau, Chair of the Plau Legacy Project said, “We are grateful to everyone who voted for Palau Pledge to receive this incredible honor. In doing so, they have helped us shine an international light on the cultural and environmental challenges facing our children here in Palau, and around the world. We are proud that Palau Pledge has again started a global movement; continuing our tradition of conservation world firsts (in the vein of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary and our Nuclear Free Constitution). As a Mother and Grandmother myself, passing on a home that can sustain our children is very important to me. Now more than ever we must all come together: governments, corporations and citizens to protect and preserve our children’s future. I would especially like to thank our partners at Host/Havas in Sydney for all their dedication, hard work and commitment in bringing Palau’s culture of conservation to life through the Palau Pledge. And, also the Australian Government grant, helping us continue the important private sector education work in Palau.

Australian Ambassador to Palau, Richelle Turner said, “Palau Pledge is an incredible initiative and this latest award is testimony to the strong conservation culture of the Palauan people. As a fellow Pacific island nation, Australia shares Palau’s commitment to ocean health and supports Palau’s important conservation initiatives. It’s wonderful that our two countries are again collaborating on the creation of the second phase of Palau Pledge, via the work of Host/Havas in Sydney. We hope this important work, and continued international recognition, will help contribute to the recovery of Palau’s tourism economy post COVID-19.”

For more information about the Palau Pledge, visit


For more information, please contact:

The Palau Legacy Team: or +680 488 6887


  • First Lady of Palau, Debbie Rememgesau, is the chairperson of the Palau Legacy Project and is available for interview on request.  The Palau Legacy Project was founded by: Laura Clarke, Nicolle Fagan, Jennifer Koskelin-Gibbons and Nanae Singeo, a group of volunteers who live in Palau and have a background in global marketing communications.
  •  Palau Pledge was introduced in December 2017 to combat the negative impacts of tourism on Palau’s pristine environment and encourage visitors to think about their impact on the environment, globally.
  • Palau Pledge ( was the most awarded communications campaign in the world in 2018/19 winning 16 Grand Prix advertising awards and two D&AD Black Pencils. Gran Prix awards included the Cannes Titanium Grand Prix Lion and the inaugural Cannes UN Sustainable Development Goals Grand Prix Lion.

·       More information about D&AD awards can be found here:

  • The Palau Pledge is implemented and institutionalized by local government and community groups including: Friends of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, PICRC, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Palau Visitors Authority, Palau Conservation Society, Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries and Commerce, Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs.
  • Palau is home to an UNESCO World Heritage Site; it is one of only 35 countries in the world to have a UNESCO designation that protects both its unique environment and culture.