Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is a protected area encompassing 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) of ocean waters and ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
This remote part of the Pacific is relatively pristine and has a large number of endemic species. It is also the habitat of the threatened green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
Culturally, it is important for its centrality to Hawaiian culture and its importance in the settlement of the Pacific. Significant Native Hawaiian cultural sites are found on the islands of Nihoa and Mokumanamana. There are also locations of historic shipwreck sites.
The Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National Monument was created by Presidential proclamation on June 15, 2006.
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Full name: Papahânaumokuâkea
2010 - InscribedReasons for inscription
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- Damaged in World War II damaged by Japanese and US forces during the Battle of Midway in June 1942
- Critically endangered fauna species Hawaiian Monk Seal - "approximately 150"; Millerbird - a couple of hundred on the small island of Nihoa
- Endemic Bird Species four species of endemic birds have been identified, including remarkably isolated species such as the Nihoa Finch (Critically Endangered), Nihoa Millerbird (Critically Endangered), Laysan Finch (Vulnerable), and Laysan Duck (Critically Endangered), one of the world's rarest ducks (UNEP-WCMC)
- Seals monk seal
- Turtles and tortoises Habitat of the threatened green sea turtle
- Volcanic Hotspots Hawaiii Hotspot
- Archipelagos (Volcanic) Includes 10 islands and atolls of the Hawaiian Archipelago
- Atoll Papahanaumokuakea Atolls within the NP include Midway, Kure, Pearl and Hermes
- Deepest Papahanaumokuakea "encompasses a multitude of habitats, ranging from 4,600 m below sea level to 275 m above sea level, including abyssal areas, seamounts and submerged banks" (AB)
- Dependent territories It includes the island of Midway which is an "Unorganised unincorporated territory of the US"
- Largest area "The vote also establishes the first mixed World Heritage Site in the nation, which covers an area of nearly 140,000 square miles" (362,600km2)
- Linear inscriptions
- Marine sites
- Pacific Ocean
- Castaways/shipwrecked mariners Kure -the most westerly atoll. "Many crews were stranded on Kure Atoll after being shipwrecked on the surrounding reefs and had to survive on the local seals, turtles, and birds... Because of these incidents King Kalakaua sent Colonel J. H. Boyd as his Special Commissioner to Kure. On September 20, 1886 he took possession of the island, then called Moku Papapa, for the Hawaiian government. The King ordered that a crude house be built on the island, with tanks for holding water and provisions for any other unfortunates who might be cast away there. But the provisions were stolen within a year, and the house soon fell into ruins." (Wiki)
- Guano 'Mining' "In 1890, Laysan was leased by the Hawaiian Kingdom to the North Pacific Phosphate and Fertilizer Company for a period of 20 years. Guano mining and digging occurred on Laysan from 1892 to 1904. This period saw the construction of several buildings, including a lighthouse and a small railroad, which supported this trade; between 100 and 125 tons of guano could be shipped from Laysan per day" Nomin file.
- Human Sacrifice Oral histories suggest that ceremonies involving human sacrifice had been conducted at the heiau, although there is no concrete archaeological evidence for this (Nom file))
- Natural sites with indigenous human population Native Hawaiian
Religion and Belief
- Living indigenous religions ceremonial sites on Mokumanamana and Nihoa Islands
WHS on Other Lists
- Biodiversity hotspot Polynesia-Micronesia
World Heritage Process
- Associative Cultural Landscape Cultural Landscape & criterion vi: living traditions of the Hawaiians (AB ev)
- No Buffer Zone Insc 2010 without buffer zone "The nominated property has no buffer zone, as it is in an extremely remote region and its boundaries have been set at 50 nautical miles (~100km) out over open sea from each of the islands and atolls"....."IUCN considers that the boundaries of the nominated property meet the requirements set out in the Operational Guidelines"