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# I've written before about the desire to create a marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands. I'm very happy to report that this is now underway. BBC News reports that Pitcairn Islands get huge marine reserve:
The UK is to establish the largest, continuous marine reserve in the world, around the Pitcairn Islands.
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Geographic Society praised action by the British government today to create the world's largest fully protected marine reserve around the Pitcairn Islands, an overseas territory in the South Pacific Ocean.
# Some Pitcairn Islanders have websites which allow purchasing goods online. The income from these sales go to the islanders. If you want great Pitcairn items and want to support the Island, here's some of the sites I've come across:
Keep in mind that ordering from Pitcairn can take some time. The supply ship is on a three month rotation and this is how orders get sent out. This is part of the attraction of ordering from such a remote place. The anticipation of the wait, the rarity of the items you get, and the wonderful quality of them.
If there are any other sites that provide online ordering of Pitcairn items where the funds go to the island please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
# Over the last few months there's been a spate of negative press about the future of Pitcairn Island. Most of these have been from UK publications. The two most recent that I've come across are:
Wikipedia even has a section on the potential extinction, although that has opinion presented as fact. For example, it cites the diaspora survey showing only three people in the responses expressing a desire to return and then states "This may be partially attributable to the 2004 sexual assault trials which has caused many emigrants to be ashamed...". The "...may be..." with no cite shows it's the thoughts of the wikipedia editor who added it, not the actual results of the survey itself.
I was one of the 33 responders in the diaspora survey. In my case it was not any "ashamed of their heritage" that was the issue. One of the points I noted in my survey response was that there is a protection order on the island that makes it difficult for families to bring children. Anyone who has tried to get a visa to the island to take children can attest to the difficulty of that process.
I made a point on the survey that to encourage people to return they need to have a timeline in place for when the protection order will be lifted or some other process by which people moving to the island can understand that there is a future in which it will be lifted. People like to travel with their families.
I'd also like to note that the survey was not just for residents who had left the island but was also for their descendants. I believe that the low response rate for the survey was due to mistrust amongst many with how the survey would be used and the information that it contained.
Also from that wikipedia section:
Also exacerbating any hope that immigration will replenish the island population is xenophobia among the residents.
From my trip there in 2012 I found the islanders very warm and welcome. There was no "xenophobia" that the wikipedia article states is an impeding factor for immigration. There is no evidence or cite given for this statement and it seems intended to discourage people from having a positive view of Pitcairn. This section of the wikipedia page was originally written by wikipedia user JBarta. Most of the recent edits in this section seem to be made by an IP address associated with a UK immigration lawyer.
Please don't use the negative press as your main source of information about Pitcairn. Consider visiting the island as a tourist and spending some time there. Reach out to islanders via email or contact from their websites. For information on immigrating to Pitcairn Island there is a FAQ on the Pitcairn Immigration site. More information is available in the Repopulation Plan (PDF).
# The area encompassing the Pitcairn Islands has four individual islands. The most well known is Pitcairn Island itself but there is also Henderson, Ducie and Oneo island.
These are spread over hundreds of miles of ocean and has one of the best preserved eco-systems on Earth. The Pitcairn Islanders and the PEW Charitable Trust is lobbying for that area to be made a marine reserve. This would prevent commercial fishing in the area and damage to the ecosystem.
The decision for it to be made a reserve is up to the UK government. The Guardian has a recent article on the topic:
A coalition of over 100 conservation groups, prominent academics and film and TV celebrities have called on the Foreign Office to declare full protection zones around the Pitcairn Islands in the Pacific ocean, as well as Ascension Island and the South Sandwich Islands in the Atlantic. The three proposed reserves would together protect around 1.8m sq km (0.7m sq miles) of ocean and more than double the size of the world's existing marine protected areas (MPA).
Pitcairn Islanders Speak Out about Marine Reserves and Pitcairn's Pristine Environment are a couple of videos on facebook that are useful viewing.
Please help to encourage publicity on this topic and work towards the UK government making a positive decision on the marine reserve.
Rhiannon will be travelling from London to Pitcairn and will spend three months on the island. During that time Rhiannon will be creating a photographic record of Pitcairn Island. From the Photographic Portrait of Pitcairn Island Kickstarter:
My project aim is to create a comprehensive photographic record of Pitcairn island, detailing its geography, customs, people and culture. This will be the first photographic project to document Pitcairn and its people and will give a unique insight into what life is like living on the edge of the world. I will also be staging the first ever exhibition to begin in Pitcairn and tour back to the UK, forging a link between these two cultures. With the magic of instant film I can get around the fact that Pitcairn has no printing services or labs and will be able to create a body of work that is Pitcairn through and through - born in the place it shows.
The Kickstarter has a £6,000 goal and is about 20% of the way there. It ends on the 26th of February. The backer rewards are quite impressive and includes postcards from Pitcairn as well as prints and photos depending on the reward level.
It looks like an exciting project and an opportunity to highlights the unique aspects of Pitcairn Island. Follow Rhiannon's Blog and back the kickstarter project if you're interesting in supporting the adventure.
# Bounty Day on Pitcairn is spent recognising the day that HMAV Bounty was burnt in Bounty Bay in 1790 soon after the mutineers arrived on the island.
Nadine Christian has posted a video of the burning of the Bounty model that is made to recognise the event.
# Google streetview support comes to Pitcairn Island. This is the Google Maps technology that allows you to explore areas in a virtual 360 degree panorama. To explore Pitcairn follow these steps:
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