$1 Million Grant To Support World’s 3rd Largest Fully Protected Area

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Kiribati’s Phoenix Islands to Be Fully Protected Beginning January 2015

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Pacific Island nations like Kiribati are demonstrating unprecedented leadership in protecting their oceans for future generations.

Today, the Waitt Foundation and Oceans 5, in close partnership with the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, agreed to make a joint grant of $1 million to support implementation of Kiribati’s Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA). The PIPA will be fully protected by January 2015, when the government will exclude commercial fishing vessels from a 410,000 square kilometer area, spanning nearly the size of California. The joint grant of $1 million per year over the next five years will support management, monitoring, and enforcement of the area.

“Science tells us that no-take marine parks are good for the planet, good for people, and good for economies. The Pacific Ocean has become an exciting focus for marine conservation this year,” said Ted Waitt, Chairman of the Waitt Foundation and member of the Oceans 5 board. “Pacific Island nations like Kiribati are demonstrating unprecedented leadership in protecting their oceans for future generations. We’re delighted and inspired to help.”

Kiribati President Anote Tong announced his intent to fully protect the Phoenix Islands at the June 2014 “Our Ocean” conference sponsored by United States Department of State and Secretary of State John Kerry. The governments of Palau and the Cook Islands both announced similar, significant commitments, while President Obama relayed his intent to consider sizable new protections for US ocean waters. Following the June conference these nations, along with many other small island developing states around the world, strongly encouraged the US and other developed nations to show similar global leadership in creating fully-protected marine parks.

The joint grant is to the PIPA Trust, an independent nonprofit organization that provides financial support to the Government of Kiribati. It will support staff salaries, enforcement activities, equipment, capacity building, and an independent evaluator to monitor progress. The PIPA includes a small subsistence fishing area around the island of Kanton for the local community.

About The Waitt Foundation
The Waitt Foundation (http://www.waittfoundation.org), established by Gateway, Inc. co-founder Ted Waitt in 1993, specializes in public-private partnership and supports a variety of national and international programs concentrating on ocean health. Partnering with unique coalitions of government, foundations & philanthropists, NGOs, academics, and business, the Waitt Foundation supports high impact projects with the ultimate aim to “restore our oceans to full productivity.”

About Oceans 5
Oceans 5 is an international funders’ collaborative comprised of new and experienced philanthropists dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans. Oceans 5 is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc. Projects are focused on stopping overfishing and establishing marine reserves, the two highest ecological priorities identified by marine scientists. Oceans 5 is inspired by opportunities, particularly ones that can bring lasting benefits to coastal communities. For more information, please visit http://oceans5.org.

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