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Kiribati, PIPA (Phoenix Islands Protected Area)


















The small Pacific Island nation of Kiribati has become a global conservation leader by declaring the Phoenix Islands a protected area to ensure its biological diversity and sustainability. It is a California-sized ocean wilderness of pristine coral reefs and rich fish populations threatened by over-fishing and climate change. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) conserves one of the Earth’s last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, consisting of eight coral atolls and two submerged reef systems in a nearly uninhabited region of abundant marine and bird life. Located near the equator in the Central Pacific between Hawaii and Fiji, the Phoenix Islands form an archipelago several hundred miles long. They are part of the Republic of Kiribati, which comprises three distinct island groups (Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands and Line Islands) with a total of 33 islands to make it the largest atoll nation in the world. The 410,500-square-kilometer (158,453-square-mile) protected area also includes underwater mountains and other deep-sea habitat.
The Phoenix Islands and surrounding areas are home to some 120 species of coral and more than 500 species of fish. On January 28, 2008, the government of Kiribati formally declared the entire Phoenix group and surrounding waters a protected area, making its 410,500 square kilometres the world's largest marine protected area.

The Voice of New Zealand, Broadcasting to the Pacific, Te Reo Irirangi O Aotearoa, O Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa, reported that Kiribati’s minister for environment, Tetapo Nakara, says the government wants to ensure a viable use of its resources. “Certain areas of the Phoenix Islands will be declared a marine protected area. In March, we’ll going to have the negotiation with the potential donors and after that we’ll determine the timeframe. The main reason for this is part of the government’s commitment to conserve the place and the biological diversity.”
Tetapo Nakara says it hopes to fully establish the area as a protected zone by the end of the year. The minister expects that the site will attract many tourists. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) will consist of underwater mountains, coral reefs and more than 520 species of fish. PIPA conserves one of the Earth’s last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, consisting of eight coral atolls and two submerged reef systems in a nearly uninhabited region of abundant marine and bird life.

Kiribati first declared the creation of PIPA at the 2006 Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Brazil. On Jan. 30, 2008, Kiribati adopted formal regulations for PIPA that more than doubled the original size to make it the largest marine protected area on Earth.

Kiribati and the New England Aquarium (NEAq) developed PIPA over several years of joint scientific research, with funding and technical assistance from Conservation International’s (CI) Global Conservation Fund and Pacific Islands Program. The CI support for PIPA is part of the Coral Reef Initiative in the South Pacific (CRISP).
“Kiribati has taken an inspirational step in increasing the size of PIPA well beyond the original eight atolls and globally important seabird, fish and coral reef communities,” said Greg Stone, the NEAq vice-president of global marine programs. “The new boundary includes extensive seamount and deep sea habitat, tuna spawning grounds, and as yet unsurveyed submerged reef systems.”

“The creation of this amazing marine protected area by a small island nation in the Pacific represents a commitment of historic proportions; and all of this by a country that is under serious threat from sea-level rise attributed to global warming,” said CI President Russell A. Mittermeier.

Three NEAq-led research expeditions since 2000 found great marine biodiversity, including more than 120 species of coral and 520 species of fish, some new to science. Some of the most important seabird nesting populations in the Pacific, as well as healthy fish populations and the presence of sea turtles and other species, demonstrated the pristine nature of the area and its importance as a migration route.

Protecting the Phoenix Islands means restricting commercial fishing in the area, resulting in a loss of revenue that the Kiribati government would normally receive from issuing foreign commercial fishing licenses. NEAq and CI are helping Kiribati design an endowment system that will cover the core recurring management costs of PIPA and compensate the government for the foregone commercial fishing license revenues. The plan allows for subsistence fishing by resident communities and other sustainable economic development in designated zones of the protected area.

Keeping oceans and marine ecosystems intact and healthy allows them to better resist the impacts of climate change and continue their natural role of sequestering atmospheric carbon that causes global warming.

If you like this post just click here Posted By crkota with 1 comment

1 comments:

Marvelous! It's so amazing! I can't imagine a place such as lovely as that! It would be a dream come true if I go there like having a Cheap Antigua Holidays.

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