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Higher waves caused by a warming planet are chipping away at platforms that have supported some of the famous statues on Easter Island for more than 500 years, according to a United Nations report on cultural heritage sites and climate change. “Some Easter Island statues are at risk of being lost to the sea because of coastal erosion,” said Adam Markham, deputy director of the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of...

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In the pre-dawn gloom in a small harbour on Easter Island, three fishermen fill their boats. Instead of piling nets, they load rocks which they will use to drop a line tens of metres below the swelling waves. The lines will be hauled up hand over hand with their catch, huge yellowfin tuna. The technique would be recognisable to the fishermen’s ancestors who have worked these waters for hundreds of years. But this way of life on one of...

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The crewmembers of Norway’s “Kon-Tiki 2” scientific expedition, who had to be rescued by the Chilean navy after sailing 1,600 kilometers (about 1,000 miles) from the Chilean coast, set foot on Chilean soil on Monday. “There were stressful situations. For example, when there were big waves and cold, but we never felt that our lives were in danger. One of our best achievements was having stayed healthy during the...

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Fourteen crew members aboard two balsa rafts were rescued Thursday after the vessels were swept up in strong currents hundreds of miles off Chile’s coast. The Kon-Tiki 1 and 2 rafts set sail in early January from Chile’s Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean toward the port city of Valparaíso, Chile. However, strong currents pulled them far off course. The Chilean Navy said in a statement that the rafts were about 994 miles...

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The fight for Rapa Nui’s protection

The fight for Rapa Nui’s protection


Posted on Mar 13, 2016

The Rapa Nui of Easter Island are a people of the ocean – born beside it, raised on it and fed by it. Now, debate has arisen about how best to protect it. The Pew Charitable Trusts, a Washington-based NGO, is working to create the first generation of fully protected marine parks around the world, including one surrounding Easter Island that would stop illegal fishing and protect the 140 species exclusive to its waters. But many...

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Sylvia Earle, one of the world’s most prominent oceanographers, traveled to Easter Island and Santiago, Chile, this summer to talk with local leaders and government officials about designating a fully protected marine park in the island’s waters, as proposed by the indigenous Rapa Nui people. Around the world, Easter Island, a province of Chile, is best known for its iconic Moai statues, which are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage...

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