The Phoenix Islands are treasured as one of Earth’s last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, which is why the Aquarium worked so hard to protect it. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also recognized the significance of this special spot. This week, UNESCO included the Phoenix Island Protected Area in its list of World Heritage Sites, along with sites from Mexico, Brazil, France, Bulgaria and China.
The Phoenix Islands Marine Protected Area
PIPA joins a long list of special natural and cultural landmarks, including the Galapagos Islands and Australia's Great Barrier Reef. UNESCO explains that these sites should belong to all peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located. UNESCO hopes this designation will encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
The Phoenix Island Marine Protected Area
Starting in 2006, the Aquarium started working with the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati and Conservation International to develop PIPA through several years of joint scientific research and policy development. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is one of the world’s largest marine protected areas, safeguarding more than 150,000 square miles of pristine coral reefs, undersea mountains and remote seabird nesting islands.