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New Caledonia creates massive new marine park

In excess of 1.3 million square kilometres, new park will be world’s largest
Araucaria columnaris trees, New Caledonia
Protected area almost the size of Queensland

"This is an historic moment in marine conservation, as well as sustainable tourism."

—Caroline Brunel, New Caledonia Tourism sales and marketing director

Tourism authorities in New Caledonia have announced the establishment of the world’s largest nature preserve as a historic moment for sustainable tourism. Years in the making, the recent government decree has paved the way for a management plan for this vast, biologically-rich area of the Pacific.

The Le Parc Naturel de la Mer de Corail Marine Sanctuary, or "Natural Park of the Coral Sea", encompasses in excess of 1.3 million square kilometres, an area almost as big as Queensland. It includes about 450,000 hectares of coral reefs and is home to 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species, 19 species of nesting birds and five species of sea turtles.

The Government of New Caledonia wanted to establish the world's largest protected area on land and sea, and protect the country's natural wealth. "This is an historic moment in marine conservation, as well as sustainable tourism," said Caroline Brunel, New Caledonia Tourism's sales and marketing director. "Such a measure exemplifies that it is possible to invest in the long-term health and productivity of our ocean resources, whilst also investing in our tourism industry," she said.