Papahanaumokuakea, the largest protected area in the world

Fortunately, governments are increasingly aware of the importance of the environment for human beings. And it is that, without it, it is impossible to comply with the cycle biological. In fact, more and more initiatives are emerging that aim to preserve and recover the planet's biodiversity. In this sense, we want to highlight protected areas, a conservation tool that meets many objectives: they maintain wild flora and fauna, natural landscapes and ecological processes; provide recreation opportunities; they represent educational possibilities; they are places of scientific research ...

Today we want to tell you about one of the most amazing protected areas on the planet. We are referring to Papahānaumokuākea National Marine Monument, the largest marine reserve in the world. Located in Hawaii, this area has been in the news in recent days for having been officially presented by Barack Obama, the President of the United States. For this reason, today we want to know a little more about this protected area. Would you like to join us?

A reserve that triples the surface of Spain

As we were telling you, last week Obama officially presented the largest protected area in the world. We are referring to the Papahānaumokuākea National Monument, whose size has been quadruplicate. In fact, the reserve nowadays reaches 1.5 million square kilometers. In other words, this sanctuary triples the surface of Spain. Yes! Yes! As you are reading it!

As expected, the President of the United States has been very satisfied with what they have done:

We hope that 20 years, 40 years, 100 years from now, this is a place where people can still come and see what a place that is not overcrowded or destroyed by humans looks like »

A cosmological meaning for Hawaiians

As explained by UNESCO, Papahānaumokuākea is made up of low-lying islands and atolls, in addition to the ocean that surrounds them. It is located about 1,250 kilometers northwest of the main archipelago of the Hawaii Islands, the place of origin of the President of the United States, who was born in Honolulu in 1961. Apparently, this place has a cosmological meaning for the Hawaiians, who consider that “it embodies the kinship bond between men and nature, cradle of life and land of shelter of the spirits of death.


7,000 marine species

It is important to note that on two of the islands belonging to this territory, Nihoa and Makumanamana, archaeological remains have been found that demonstrate the presence of human settlements before the arrival of the Europeans. Of course, what is most surprising about this place is its natural wealth, being able to find some 7,000 species here, of which a quarter are endemic. Black corals, considered as the oldest animals on the planet, deserve a special mention. And is that scientists say they can reach 4,500 years. We also want to highlight endangered species such as the green turtle, the seal Hawaiian monk and Laysan duck, considered the most endangered duck in the world (only 500 adult specimens remain). On the other hand, it is important to bear in mind that in this protected territory you can also find pelagic habitats of deep waters, underwater mountains, submerged sand banks, marine lagoons and vast coral reefs.


Military use

Finally, we would like to comment that the text of the expansion of the marine reserve gives way to military use, which means that the prohibitions fixed by the proclamation will not apply to the activities of the country's Armed Forces. The good thing about this always destructive use is that the military can monitor illegal fishing and put its satellites at the service of conservation.

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Largest protected area in the world: marine national monument of Hawaii to be expanded - TomoNews (August 2020)

  • Hawaii, nature, reserves
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