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This entry is written by Tukabu Terooko, a Director of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.
The designation of the Phoenix Islands a protected area is part of fulfilling Kiribati obligation under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) being party to the Convention. Initially, the plan was to protect the marine habitats only, but with the abundance of terrestrial life such as coconut crabs, seabirds and others, Kiribati then decided to include the land resources as well. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) encompasses a total area of 408,250 sq. km.
Tukabu Terooko and Greg Stone (Photo: Brian Skerry)
As a small country, Kiribati is proud to contribute to the global environment in closing off 11.34% of its total exclusive economic zone rich in marine biodiversity. PIPA is also an important spawning area for tuna beside the Philippines and its location in the centre of the Pacific Ocean is strategic for stock enhancement of the neighboring waters and afar. It is also an important site for nesting and feeding of seabirds migrating from other hemispheres therefore PIPA in its entirety could be regarded an important protected area in the world. Being remote and isolated, the natural beauty of the islands in PIPA will always remain pristine due to absence of human activities.
© September 16, 2009 New England Aquarium