Phoenix Island Protected Area, PIPA - The Traveller

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Phoenix Island Protected Area, PIPA

Phoenix Island



Phoenix Island Protected Area, PIPA – World’s Largest Mid Ocean Wilderness

Phoenix Islands Protected Area – PIPA, is the world’s largest mid ocean wilderness,a protected area in the remote area of the Pacific which is between Hawaii and Fiji.

It is an island of tranquillity andscenery that is awesome with coral islands surrounding the blue lagoons together with white sparking sandy beaches which seems to be stretching as far as the eye can see. The atmosphere is one of peace and calm and is a great place to experience nature and serenity.

The beauty of Kiribati is an excellent escape from the hectic schedule of life with the absence of crowd, traffic congestion, no shopping malls, no pollution or sky scrapers and life here is full of leisure.

It covers an area of 408,250 sq.km and is one of the largest marine protected area in the world with the largest marine conservation of its kind by LDC, Least Developed Country and as per recent survey – National Geographic Magazine `Great Whites of the North, issue of February 2004, is `the earth’s last pocket of primal ocean, where underwater havens remains unspoiled and untouched for a very long time.

Kiribati – Creations of PIPA

At the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Brazil, in 2006, Kiribati was first declared the creation of PIPA and on January 30, 2008 adopted formal regulation for PIPA which doubled more than the original size making it the largest marine protected area on Earth at that time.

Towards 2010, PIPA was then added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage site and is now the largest and the deepest World Heritage in the world. It now includes the eight atolls together with the low reef islands of the Kiribati area of the Phoenix Island group, namely Rawaki, Enderbury, Nikumaroro, McKean, Manra, Birnie, Kanton and Orona.

Moreover it also includes two submerged reefs, like Carondelet Reef and Winslow Reef, where Carondelet Reef is as little about 3 to 4 metres underwater at low tide and it is presumed that there could be more than thirty seamounts within PIPA but presently only nine have been named.

The larger area of PIPA comprises of ocean floor together with water column ranging more than 4,000 meters deep to a maximum at 6,147 metres.

Home to Various Species, Known and Unknown

The reefs of PIPA include around 120 kinds of coral and dolphins are one of the eighteen marine mammal species that are found in the water there, where once large whales hunted on a regular basis.

The site also has key migration routes that have been used by some aquatic species and turtles and since it is an uninhabitedisland, it could be filled with a variety of seabirds. It is the first protected area which includes large deep water tracts in these area of South Pacific with depth exceeding 16,400 feet and since the deep ocean has not yet been explored and untouched by humans, it is essential to place it under protection in order to save and treasure species which are yet unknown to humans.

They are also precious since they are home to various numbers of species, known and unknown.

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