Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon covers 100,200-hectare and numbers 445 uninhabited limestone islands of volcanic origin. Many of them display unique mushroom-like shapes in turquoise lagoons surrounded by coral reefs. The site features over 385 coral species and different types of habitat and harbors the highest concentration of marine lakes anywhere, isolated bodies of seawater separated from the ocean by land barriers.
The Rock Islands Southern Lagoon contains 52 marine lakes, more than at any other site in the world. They are mostly uninhabited and are famous for their beaches, blue lagoons and the peculiar umbrella-like shapes of many of the islands themselves. The Rock Islands and the surrounding reefs make up Palau’s popular tourist sites such as Blue Corner, Blue hole, German Channel, Ngermeaus Island and the famed Jellyfish Lake, one of the many Marine lakes in the Rock Islands that provides home and safety for several kinds of stingless jellyfish found only in Palau.
Named by CEDAM International as “One of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World”, the Republic of Palau lies 1000km (600 miles) east of the Philippines (my country), about 800 miles (1,280 km) southwest of Guam and 2000 miles (3200 km) south of Tokyo. It is the westernmost cluster of the six major island groups that make up the Caroline Islands lying at the end of Micronesia in the Philippine Sea. It has more than 200 islands, of which only eight are inhabited.
Rock Islands Southern Lagoon and our very own Tubbataha World Heritage sites have won Future Policy Award for marine resource management. (source: unesco.org)