2 Aug 2010

Three Pacific sites could be granted World Heritage status this week

5:49 am on 2 August 2010

It should be know early this week if three Pacific sites have been granted World Heritage status.

Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the Phoenix Islands marine protected area in Kiribati, and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, are among the sites that'll be considered at the UNESCO Heritage Committee's next meeting, which started in Brazil last week.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature's Tim Badman says the Phoenix Islands and Papahanaumokuakea battle it out to be called the world's largest marine protected area.

"In both of the cases of these sites is really being put forward as a way of demonstrating a committment to conservation. They're in different situations in terms of their development and how they are coming into being as marine protected areas. So I think the hope in both cases is that the status would be something that will really reinforce conservation efforts and attract partners and really sustain the management that's needed."