Cook Islands declares world's largest marine park

Aug 29, 2012
Graphic showing the world's largest marine park, announced by the Cook Islands at the opening of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The Cook Islands announced the creation of world's largest marine park at the opening of the Pacific Islands Forum, a vast swathe of ocean almost twice the size of France.

Prime Minister Henry Puna said Tuesday the 1.065 million square kilometre (411,000 square mile) reserve "(is) the largest area in history by a single country for integrated and management".

Puna said protecting the Pacific, one of the last pristine marine eco-systems, was the Cooks' major contribution "to the wellbeing of not only our peoples, but also of humanity".

"The marine park will provide the necessary framework to promote sustainable development by balancing economic growth interests such as tourism, fishing and deep sea mining with conserving core biodiversity in the ocean," he said.

Australia announced in June that it was creating a network of marine parks covering 3.1 million square kilometres, more than a third of its territorial waters. However, they are dotted around its huge coastline.

The new Cook Islands protected zone will be the largest single in the world, taking in the entire southern half of the nation's waters.

The nation's 15 islands have a combined barely larger than Washington DC but its waters include environmentally valuable , seagrass beds and fisheries.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

U.S. creates Hawaiian Marine Reserve

Jun 16, 2006

U.S. President George W. Bush has designated the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a national monument, making it the world's largest protected marine reserve.

Australia plans world's largest marine reserve

Nov 25, 2011

The Australian government has said it plans to establish the world's biggest marine protection zone to safeguard a huge swathe of the Coral Sea, a biodiversity hotspot brimming with life.

Scientists call for no-take coral sea park

Feb 23, 2012

More than 300 eminent scientists from 21 other countries around the world today urged the Australian Federal Government to create the world's largest no-take marine reserve in the Coral Sea.

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

14 hours ago

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.