Sustainability Plan – Phoenix Islands Protected Area

Strategy

The Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA) is responsible for the management of Kanton Island and was required to develop a sustainability plan under the PIPA Management Plan 2015-2020.

PIPA worked collaboratively with Reef Ecologic and Arup to build on existing knowledge and conduct expert assessments and consultation at Kanton Island in June 2017. Kanton Island has spectacular marine, historical and cultural assets and values. Our ecosystem assessments reported over 130 species of fish, numerous sharks, turtles, very high (over 90%) coral cover, native vegetation and large numbers of roosting and nesting seabirds.

Kanton Island has numerous infrastructure assets including an airfield, road and port. Many of these assets were built for WWII , are degraded, and in some cases severely damaged and not operational. We assessed the condition of airfield, road and port infrastructure and provide options, costs and suggested timing for remediation.

A series of stakeholder meetings in Kanton and Tarawa between June and August 2017 discussed the preliminary results of the assessments and key elements of a draft sustainability plan for Kanton Island. Over 200 people from Government, industry and science have been involved in sharing knowledge and providing advice on future management tools for the Kanton Resource Use Sustainability Plan (KRUSP).

The key elements of the KRUSP are that it covers a 12Nm radius around Kanton Island. Over 50% of the island and lagoon are protected in a Conservation Zone. Designated areas have been identified for Subsistence fishing, Tourism development, Ports and Transport. There are currently 30-40 people living on Kanton Island and very limited tourism. The KRUSP plans to encourage high value, sustainable tourism on Kanton Island with a maximum limit of 100 people per day.

Further details pending.

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