FLIBS 2019
Tetiaroa Atoll

Tetiaroa Atoll

Tetiaroa is a sacred place of beauty and refuge in Polynesian culture. It was a meeting place for tribal leaders and a special place focused on the concept of retreat to gather strength. Today, Tetiaroa is an important refuge for nesting green sea turtles and several seabird species that cannot nest on populated shores. Its lagoon provides an important site for the production of fish larvae and its islands provide protection for threatened species such as coconut crabs. The coral reef system has benefitted from its remoteness, and scientific surveys have shown it to be both healthy and resilient to disturbance. However, atolls and the coral reefs that support them are in serious risk because of climate change, ocean acidification and misuse. Like the canary in the coal mine they provide early indications of danger and, unless urgent action is taken, are likely to among the early casualties. Research and education programs on Tetiaroa will produce and promote knowledge to help atolls and coral reefs and their associated communities to resist and cope with climate change and other global threats.
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