Easter Island Easter Island

Isle of Easter Island

isle of Easter The Easter Island, or Rape Nui, as it is called by the natives of the island, lies in the south-eastern Pacific Ocean and is the most south-eastern point of the Polynesian Triangle. While many know of the island because of its icons of rock sculptures, its maritime surroundings have 142 distinct types and characteristics such as hydrothermal chimneys and seamounts, which are important both locally and globally.

It was some while ago that locals had seen the effects of illicit fisheries in their water - they said they saw fishermen' s vessels on the horizon while their catches decreased. In order to turn this tendency around, the Rapa Nui started a water protection programme.

Bertarelli Foundation, in collaboration with the Pew Charitable Trusts, sponsored this initiative and conducted the island's biggest ever academic evaluation of the island's maritime ecology, an economical study of the effects of a maritime reserve and educational and training for the island's inhabitants. It is also important that the Bertarelli Foundation, in cooperation with SkyTruth, has sponsored a satelite evaluation of IUF.

This study reaffirmed the concerns of Rapa Nui - fishermen came illegal into their water bodies - and gave new impulses to their campaigns. Chilean President Bachelet expressed her wish to join the Rapa Nui water protection initiative in October 2015 and took the first steps towards the creation of a 631,368 km2 maritime reserve.

It is important that this name not only protects the important maritime eco-system, but also ensures the continuity of the old fisheries practices and Rapa Nui tradition.

Palaeoecology of Easter Island: Proofs and Uncertainty

Since the last ice age, the presence of evergreen forest of palms and the recent human deforestation are a paradigm for the paleo-ecological reconstruction of Easter Island. In order to assess whether this is the only well-founded assumption or whether there are other possible palaeo-ecological models, this article examines all available indications of previous changes in Easter Island population.

1 ) the supposed natural environment and extent of the former forest, 2) the taxonomical identities of the dominating palm trees and 3) the type of recent environmental changes that lead to a tree free island. On the first point, the results obtained so far are consistent not only with a wooded island but also with other settings, such as a tessellation of forest mosaics limited to areas with high fresh water levels (gallery forests), mostly around the perennial ponds and along the coastline.

Regarding the identification of Palmtrees, some existing types have been suggested as possible candidate, but the Palmtrees that dominate these woods seem to be dead and their identities remain unknward. The conclusion is drawn that the assumption of a previously wooded island has not yet been proven. Therefore, the recent environmental catastrophe, whether man-made or not, is still a matter of speculation.

For a better comprehension of the Easter Island's environmental heritage, several kinds of forward-looking research are suggested, including: advanced analogue research from similar situation, modelling the spread of fast growing populations, high-resolution multi-proxy research along the nuclei obtained so far, more core drilling campaign in the quest for older sediment and analysis of plants' residues by means of genetic and isotope analysis for taxonomical analysis.

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