United Nations
Advancing science and partnership in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area
by PIPA Scientific Advisory Committee (Partnership)
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is honored to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14. First established in 2008 as one of the then-largest marine protected areas, and still as the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site, PIPA set out a scientific research vision and plan in 2010 with a 10-year timeline, largely focused on exploration, climate change, connectivity, and human-natural coupled systems. As this decade is fast drawing to a close, it is time for PIPA to renew its commitment to scientific research, aligned with the SDG goals of the UN and the world.

As such, we commit to generating a new 10-year research plan that includes, but is not limited, to priorities focused on (1) Monitoring, minimizing, and addressing the impacts of ocean acidification through enhanced scientific cooperation and capacity building, consistent with SDG 14.3 (2) to collect data on larval tuna dynamics within the MPA to help generate the information needed for science-based management plans, consistent with SDG 14.4, and (3) to increase the scientific knowledge, research capacity, and marine technology transfer to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of Small Island Developing States, consistent with SDG 14.A.

The effectiveness of our commitment will be realized by the generation of a 2020-2030 Research plan, drafted in 2018-2019, for implementation starting in 2020, with reflection in 2028 of the plan achievements.

By charting a specific course for scientific exploration, monitoring, evaluation, and inquiry that incorporates the UN SDGoals, we are confident that the Phoenix Islands will do its part to contribute to a growing network of global MPA knowledge.
Progress reports
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
A 2020-2030 research plan will be developed for PIPA by the PIPA Scientific Advisory Committee in partnership with local, regional and international research institutions and scientists, with approval by the PIPA Management Committee and the Kiribati Government.
There will be a cross-training expedition opportunity with students and in-field training to engage Kiribati and global partners in increased capacity and enable marine technology transfer, with specific training on collection of larval tuna, and the measurement and monitoring of ocean acidification metrics.
Staff / Technical expertise
Fully utilizing the new Kanton Coordinator position to help collaborate and cooperate on real-time in situ data acquisition from the Phoenix Island Protected Area
In-kind contribution
Leverage existing and future funding to support time and personnel
Staff / Technical expertise
Meeting of 20+ PIPA Scientists to consult and draft this Research Vision Plan.
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 - 2020
Phoenix Islands Protected Area * Phoenix Islands Protected Area Conservation Trust * The Republic of Kiribati * Conservation International * Boston University * New England Aquarium * Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution * Scripps Institution of Oceanography * Sea Education Association * NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center * Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument * Prince Albert of Monaco II Foundation * EcoOceania *
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Randi Rotjan and Tukabu Teroroko, Co-Chairs, Phoenix Islands Protected Area Scientific Advisory Committee, rrotjan@bu.edu, 617-791-1985
Tarawa, Kiribati
Other SDGs
United Nations