Our friendship was an improbable one. Hailing from the United States and Japan, we were steeped in our respective countries' questions of environmental science and public policy some 7,000 miles apart. One of us had been sporting suits and heels in Washington, while the other nested amongst New Zealand's otherworldly landscapes.
We have regulations for everything, but actually we have no regulation for energy efficiency, which means that we can still put all the CO2 we want in the atmosphere and we have no international regulations for the environment, which means that in international waters, everybody is still allowed to do everything.
Due to Palau's strong market for snorkel and scuba ecotourism, a single live reef shark is worth roughly US$1.9 million over its lifetime (compared with a value of US$108 for a dead shark). The designation of Palau's shark sanctuary fueled a global campaign, and today 10 other countries have followed suit, creating more than 4.9 million square miles of shark sanctuary.