Papahānaumokuākea Celebrates 10 Years
Gov. David Ige issued a special proclamation on Wednesday, June 15, to honor the 10-year anniversary of the establishment of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
In recognition and celebration of the monument’s 10th anniversary, the proclamation declared June 15, 2016, as “Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Day” in Hawaiʻi. Staff from the monument’s seven co-managing agencies were present in the governor’s office at the State Capitol for the announcement.
On June 15, 2006, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument was established by Presidential Proclamation 8031, creating the largest marine protected area in the world at the time. A year later, it was given its Hawaiian name, Papahānaumokuākea.
The monument was created to protect an exceptional array of both natural and cultural resources, and also ushered in a new genre of marine conservation: large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs).
When Papahānaumokuākea was first created, it was the largest marine protected area on the planet.
Then, less than 1% of the ocean was protected.
Today there are 19 LSMPAs (formally established or government declared), totaling more than 10.5 million-square-km or nearly 3% of the global oceans. In all, if the 19 sites were put together, they would be the second largest country in the world, bigger than the US.
This year, Papahānaumokuākea celebrates a decade of accomplishments made in cooperative conservation management, restoration and discovery.
July 30, 2016 will mark Papahānaumokuākea’s six year anniversary as the nation’s first (and still only) “mixed” (natural and cultural) UNESCO World Heritage site.
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