Palau makes World Heritage list!
Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon has recently made UNESCO's World Heritage List. This is especially poignant for The Last Reef, since most of the films underwater coral reef sequences and many of the timelapse sequences were shot in Palau, one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet, and yet, one of the most threatened.
UNESCO notes the lagoon "covers 100,200 ha and includes 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 thirteen shark species. The site harbours the highest concentration of marine lakes anywhere".
This area has long been protected by the Palauan government, seen as the crown jewel of the archipelago.
The decision was made at a meeting in St Petersburg, Russia by the World Heritage Committee, where they apparently discussed Palau's "wow" factor...
You can read more about UNESCO's take on the islands here