Palau is an archipelago of about 250 isles, located in the western Pacific Ocean. It’s its own state – the Republic of Palau, although it is part of the larger island group of Micronesia. It eventually gained its total autonomy in 1994.
Palau is one of the true unspoiled destinations on the planet, it is also a beautiful tropical paradise. Most of the 100-plus islands are little low lying coral islands, ringed by barrier reefs and are uninhabited. The population of around 21,000 is spread in the country’s across 250 islands forming the western region of the Caroline isle.
ROCK ISLAND SOUTHERN LAGOON
The rock island of southern lagoon consists of 45 limestone islands of a volcanic history. Many of them show unique mushroom-like contours in turquoise lagoons surrounded by coral reefs. The aesthetic beauty of the site is heightened with a complicated reef system featuring over 385 coral species and several types of habitat. They keep up a large diversity of marine life and plants, birds including dugong and at least thirteen shark species.
The site harbors the highest concentration of marine lakes in any place on earth. There are isolated bodies of seawater divided from the ocean by land obstacles. They have been among the island’s most distinctive features and keep up high endemism of inhabitants which continue to yield new species discoveries. Burial sites, together with the remains of stonework hamlets and rock art, bear testimony to the organization of small island communities over some three millennia. The rejection of the hamlets in the 17th and 18th centuries illustrates the consequences of population growth, climate change and subsistence behavior on a society residing in a marginal marine environment.
The Rock Islands Southern Lagoon contains a mix of large and small forested limestone island, scattered within a marine lagoon protected by a barrier reef. The property lies immediately to the south of Palau’s main volcanic isle Babeldaob in the western Pacific Ocean.
The marine site covers 100,200 ha and is characterized by coral reefs and a diversity of other marine habitats, as well as 445 coralline limestone islands uplifted due to volcanism and shaped over time, plant life and wind. by weather This has created an extremely high habitat complexity, including the greatest concentration of marine lakes in the world, which continue to give new species discoveries. The terrestrial environment is exuberant and at once harsh, supporting endangered species and numerous endemic. Although presently uninhabited, the islands were once home to Palauan settlements, and Palauans continue to make use of the area and its own resources for recreational and cultural purposes. That is regulated through an effective native governance system that remains an important part of its national identity.