The SOE uses the 2011 report by Cook Islands to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to identify the country’s terrestrial protected areas. There are 14 terrestrial PAs, which total at least 1407.2 hectares (five PAs are uncalculated), or about six per cent of the Cook Islands’ total 240 km2 land mass.
Terrestrial PA are concentrated in a few locations. Three of the 15 islands in Cook Islands are wildlife reserves (Suwarrow, Takutea and Manuae), almost 40% of the terrestrial PAs are represented by four motu on Pukapuka, and three of Rarotonga’s four PAs make up 36% of total terrestrial PAs. The PAs include private nature reserves, conservation areas, entire island and motu PAs (Suwarrow
Island and Pukapuka’s motu), a wildlife sanctuary (Takutea Wildlife Sanctuary), National Parks and Reserves, and community managed areas. Many of these PAs are represented by a single example.
Traditional leaders, Island Councils, communities and government have all contributed to the establishment and management of PAs. Most Cook Islands PAs are not covered by legislation, and the few that are legislated vary in their levels of protection. Only three of the 14 terrestrial PAs are covered by formal government-based legislations and regulations, which include the Suwarrow National Park Declaration, Takutea Island Regulations and Takuvaine Water Catchment Regulations.
|Publisher||Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), SPREP Environmental Monitoring and Governance (EMG), UNEP/GEF, Cook Islands National Environment Service|
|Modified||23 February 2022|
|Release Date||23 February 2022|
|Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location||Cook Islands|
|Relevant Countries||Cook Islands|