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Home > Topic > Nature Conservation

Nature conservation

The Pacific Islands region covers 32 million sq km and is one of the richest on earth, with habitats ranging from mountain forest ecosystems to volcanic islands and low lying coral atolls

Amazingly, land makes up less than 2 percent of a region that includes over 7500 small volcanic islands and coral atolls. The huge expanse of ocean supports the most extensive and diverse coral reefs in the world, the largest tuna fishery, the deepest oceanic trenches and the healthiest and in some cases, largest remaining populations of many globally rare and threatened species including whales, sea turtles, dugongs and saltwater crocodiles.

The Pacific is home to a high proportion of endemic and threatened flora and fauna – for some islands over 80% of species are endemic. However, Pacific island biodiversity is under intense pressure from natural and human-induced disturbance, alien species introductions, population growth and other factors, and its flora and fauna are among the most highly threatened in the world. Furthermore, the small size and isolated nature of our islands makes them extremely vulnerable to these threats. Many of these endemic and threatened species are of material resource or spiritual/cultural significance to Pacific people.

Nature conservation at SPREP

SPREP's Natural Resource Management work is primarily focused on the effective protection of the natural heritage of the Pacific islands region through the conservation and sustainable management of their natural resources and biodiversity. Its focal areas are:

  • ecosystems
  • species
  • natural resources
  • international conventions and regional coordinating mechanisms
  • The International Waters Programme, which undertakes conservation activities in 14 Pacific island countries, is part of the Division.

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