Managing marine and coastal biodiversity in Pacific island states and atolls
As of: January 2020
Objective and activities
The project improved management of the marine and coastal biodiversity of mountainous volcanic islands (Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu) and low-lying island atolls (Kiribati, Tonga). To achieve this it undertook economic assessments of marine and coastal ecosystems (TEEB) in the five partner countries and across the region (TEEB for oceans), and fed the results into national development planning. In addition, the project partners are gearing marine protected area systems to the requirements of preserving ecosystems and are enlarging them. Economic approaches such as payments for ecosystem services were an illustrative example of how protected areas can be effectively managed. The project results were shared across the Pacific through regional organisations. The conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity has a positive impact on climate change adaptation, carbon sequestration and the livelihoods of the population.
State of implementation/results
- Key partners were identified for carrying out economic valuations of marine ecosystem services in five partner countries, and the availability of data was checked.
- To improve marine spatial planning, a six-month study on locally managed marine areas was conducted.
- A selection was made of model areas that could be used to demonstrate tried-and-tested procedures for managing marine protected areas.
- The ninth Pacific Island Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas on Fiji was organised with seminars on marine spatial planning and economic valuation of marine ecosystem services.
- A project website has been created.
- The project’s outputs and services fostered the approval of new strategies and laws in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Tonga.
- Expert workshops on national level prioritized 44 areas in Tonga and 200 areas in Fiji for conservation of marine biodiversity.
- An online training platform for the usage of open source GIS software QGIS was established in close cooperation with the Pacific Community (SPC) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).
- Support to the partner countries’ contribution to the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii 2016 and the UN Ocean Conferrence in New York 2017.