<p><a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/110223-biodiversity-moorea-biocode"><strong>SPECIAL REPORT: BIODIVERSITY AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE</strong></a></p> <p>Mo‘orea, just 12 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Tahiti, stands out among South Pacific islands.</p> <p>Anchored by a nearly 1,200-year-old culture and history steeped in exploration, Mo‘orea has become an international hotspot for biodiversity research.</p> <p>(<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/110223-biodiversity-cultural-tradition-moorea-archaeology-marae/">Read more about the history of the island.</a>)</p> <p><em>--Tasha Eichenseher</em></p>

Blue Lagoon

SPECIAL REPORT: BIODIVERSITY AND INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE

Mo‘orea, just 12 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Tahiti, stands out among South Pacific islands.

Anchored by a nearly 1,200-year-old culture and history steeped in exploration, Mo‘orea has become an international hotspot for biodiversity research.

(Read more about the history of the island.)

--Tasha Eichenseher

Photograph by David Liittschwager, National Geographic

Cutting-Edge Science Meets Centuries-Old Tradition

The waves of exploration that have washed over Mo’orea -- both Polynesian and European, cultural and scientific – have altered the landscape, natives, and research community in profound ways.

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