Palau, Micronesia’s Rock Islands
Listed Amongst UNESCO’s World Heritage List
(Palau, Micronesia --- July 10, 2012) --- Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon has been inscribed onto the World Heritage list of (UNESCO) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
If you go on the website http://whc.unesco.org/en/newproperties/
It will provide a list of all properties inscribed for 2012.
For Palau's Rock Island Southern Lagoon, here is the link,
this is what you will find below:
Listed as a mixed site (for both cultural and natural properties), Rock Islands Southern Lagoon covers 100,200-hectare and numbers 445 uninhabited limestone islands of volcanic origin. Many of them display unique mushroom-like shapes in turquoise lagoons surrounded by coral reefs. The aesthetic beauty of the site is heightened by a complex reef system featuring over 385 coral species and different types of habitat. They sustain a large diversity of plants, birds and marine life including dugong and at least 13 shark species. The site harbors the highest concentration of marine lakes anywhere, isolated bodies of seawater separated from the ocean by land barriers. They are among the islands’ distinctive features and sustain high endemism of populations which continue to yield new species discoveries.
The well-known biodiversity of the Republic of Palau lies in the marine and terrestrial environment of the Rock Islands where important habitats threatened and endangered species are situated. The significant aesthetic and culture values of the landscape of the Southern Lagoon are integral to the identity of the State and our island nation. Becoming a world heritage site will help us better adapt management to address complex challenges and issues that are constantly changing.
According to Ilebrang U. Olkeriil, Coastal Management Officer/Campaign Manager of the Koror State Government’s Department of Conservation and Law Enforcement, “On behalf of Koror State Department of Conservation and Law Enforcement, we thank all those who worked hard and for the in-kind contribution to make our dream of international recognition a reality.”
Located in the westernmost corner of Micronesia, Palau is an archipelago of more than 586 islands with about 20,000 inhabitants and was the world’s first official Shark Sanctuary, setting the pace for many other destinations to follow suit. Consistently ranked as one of the world's best dive destinations, Palau is the ultimate paradise for the adventurous traveler, boasting some of the most spectacular water features and beaches as well as the world famous Jellyfish Lake and Rock Islands, which was just recently inscribed as Mixed Property onto UNESCO World Heritage List. With 1,500 species of fish and 500 species of coral, some have called Palau the “8th Natural Wonder of the World", while others have identified Palau as "One of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World."