[Coral-List] Phoenix Islands Protected Area inscribed as largest marine World Heritage Site
randi.rotjan at tufts.edu
Fri Aug 13 08:32:07 EDT 2010
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) was inscribed last week as a World
Heritage Site at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) meeting in Brazil, thanks to many years of work by the
New England Aquarium, Kiribati, Conservation International and partners.
It is now the largest marine World Heritage Site in the world.
The UN’s cultural arm, UNESCO, which works “to preserve humanity’s
irreplaceable riches: its diversity and shared heritage,” inscribed 3 new
natural sites one of which is PIPA. The Phoenix Islands are part of Kiribati
which is an open-ocean nation found in the central Pacific and sits between
Fiji and Hawaii. Kiribati is the largest atoll nation in the world and
consists of three island groups, the Gilbert, Line and Phoenix islands which
together cover a land area of only 811 km” spread over 33 islands, but an
ocean territory of over 3.5 million km”.
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is the largest marine protected
area (MPA) in the Pacific and was designated in 2006 and extended in 2008 to
over 400,000 km2 of marine and terrestrial habitats. PIPA is characterized
by a large number of seamounts (around 30) which are submerged mountains,
many of which do not break the surface of the water. The creation afforded
by the MPA helps *to conserve one of the last remaining intact oceanic coral
archipelago ecosystems to be found anywhere in the world. It consists of two
submerged reef systems and eight coral atolls in a region of abundant marine
and bird life.*
This new development for PIPA is a major step in protecting this remote area
which currently has minimal permanent human settlement and presents a unique
opportunity to protect habitat for both species and ecosystems of global
importance to both conservation and science, and from shallow to deep water..
For more information and background on PIPA
For a photo slideshow:
Join the PIPA Facebook Page
Any scientific inquiries should be directed to both David Obura and Randi
Randi D. Rotjan, Ph.D.
New England Aquarium
Edgerton Research Laboratory
1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110
rrotjan at neaq.org
David Obura, Ph.D.
CORDIO East Africa
#9 Kibaki Flats, Kenyatta Beach, Bamburi Beach
P.O.BOX 10135 Mombasa 80101, Kenya
www.cordioea.org // www.iucn.org/cccr
Email: dobura at cordioea.org; dobura at africaonline.co.ke
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