News Release

Great British win: world's largest marine reserve to be established around Pitcairn Islands

19 March 2015
Pitcairn Island, South Pacific
Photo: Tony Probst

IUCN joins other leading conservation groups in congratulating the British Government for its decision to create the world’s largest marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands, a UK Overseas Territory (OT) in the South Pacific.

Announced in the annual budget statement was the British Government’s intent to proceed with the designation of a ‘no-take’ Red-footed booby on Oeno Island, Pitcairn Islands, South Pacific Photo: Tara ProudMarine Protected Area around Pitcairn. This decision begins the process of creating a fully protected marine reserve of over 830,000 square kilometres of ocean, the largest in the world.

Taking its Overseas Territories into account, Great Britain is responsible for the fifth largest area of ocean in the world. The UK OTs harbour 94% of the country’s biodiversity. “’The declaration by the UK Government of its intent to protect the Pitcairn Islands and create an area 3.5 times the size of the St Paul's Pool, Pitcairn Islands Photo: Andrew ChristianUK is very encouraging. It shows the importance of the European Overseas entities in protecting the world’s oceans,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN´s Global Marine and Polar Programme. “The EC BEST initiative, implemented by a consortium of partners and coordinated by IUCN, supports conservation actions and regional cooperation in these areas.”

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