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Author Topic: Phoenix Island World Heritage Site  (Read 6335 times)

Robert J Schafish

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Phoenix Island World Heritage Site
« on: September 07, 2010, 12:14:11 PM »

Will this designation affect TIGHAR's activities on Nikumaroro?

World Heritage Committee inscribes a total of 21 new sites on UNESCO World Heritage List

Monday, August 2, 2010

Meeting under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Culture of Brazil, João Luiz da Silva Ferreira, the Committee inscribed the Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA) as a World Heritage Natural Site. PIPA includes all eight atoll and low reef islands of the Kiribati section of the Phoenix Island group, Rawaki, Enderbury, Nikumaroro, McKean, Manra, Birnie, Kanton and Orona. PIPA also includes two submerged reefs, Carondelet Reef and Winslow Reef, with Carondelet Reef being as little as 3 to 4 meters underwater at low tide. It is estimated that there could be more than 30 seamounts within PIPA though to date only nine have been named. The greater part of PIPA by area is comprised of ocean floor with a water column averaging more than 4,000 meters (2.5 miles) deep with a maximum at 6,147 meters.
The Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA) is a 408,250 sq.km expanse of marine and terrestrial habitats in the Southern Pacific Ocean. The property encompasses the Phoenix Island Group, one of three island groups in Kiribati, and is the largest designated Marine Protected Area in the world. PIPA conserves one of the world's largest intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, together with 14 known underwater sea mounts (presumed to be extinct volcanoes) and other deep-sea habitats. The area contains approximately 800 known species of fauna, including about 200 coral species, 500 fish species, 18 marine mammals and 44 bird species. The structure and functioning of PIPA's ecosystems illustrates its pristine nature and importance as a migration route and reservoir. This is the first site in Kiribati to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.




 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Phoenix Island World Heritage Site
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2010, 01:03:11 PM »

Will this designation affect TIGHAR's activities on Nikumaroro?

World Heritage Committee inscribes a total of 21 new sites on UNESCO World Heritage List

Only good things will come of this and, in fact, the chain of events that led to the establishment of PIPA and now the World Heritage listing began with TIGHAR.  In 1997 we chartered Nai'a for our fourth expedition to Nikumaroro. The ship's owner was tremendously impressed by the pristine condition of the reef at Niku and sung its praises to his friends at the New England Aquarium. They chartered Nai'a to go see for themselves and subsequently contacted the government of Kiribati about setting up a marine protected area. Kiribati thought it was a good idea and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) was born.  The UNESCO listing should open up new opportunities for research - including archaeology.
Next Monday we'll be at the New England Aquarium in Boston to celebrate.


TIGHAR delegation that has been invitied to attend a celebration of 
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Robert J Schafish

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Re: Phoenix Island World Heritage Site
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2010, 05:32:47 PM »

Good work Ric...it is good to hear that your organization had a positive role in bringing about the World Heritage designation.

Cheers, Bob S
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