Palau´s Rock Islands becomes a UNESCO World heritage site

Thursday 1, January 1970


Palau´s Rock Islands becomes a UNESCO World heritage site


The Palauan Rock Islands Southern Lagoon has successfully been inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage list as a mixed site and it is becoming the country’s first World Heritage Site.



Rock Islands Southern Lagoon covers 100,200-hectare and numbers 445 uninhabited limestone islands of volcanic origin. Many of them display unique mushroom-like shapes in turquoise lagoons surrounded by coral reefs. The aesthetic beauty of the site is heightened by a complex reef system featuring over 385 coral species and different types of habitat. They sustain a large diversity of plants, birds and marine life including dugong and at least 13 shark species. The site harbours the highest concentration of marine lakes anywhere, isolated bodies of seawater separated from the ocean by land barriers. They are among the islands’ distinctive features and sustain high endemism of populations which continue to yield new species discoveries. (Source:

The well-known biodiversity of the Republic of Palau lies in the marine and terrestrial environment of the Rock Islands where important habitats threatened and endangered species are situated.  The significant aesthetic and culture values of the landscape of the Southern Lagoon are integral to the identity of the State and our island nation.  Becoming a world heritage site will help Palau better adapt management to address complex challenges and issues that are constantly changing.

If you would like to learn more about Palau please visit our website



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