island conservation pacific islands

Pacific Islands Take Invasive Species Problems Head-on

At the 2016 UN Biodiversity Conference in Cancun, Mexico, Pacific Islands outline action plan to manage invasive species and their impacts.

The Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) announced commitments to empower and support Pacific Islands in repairing and preventing damages from invasive species.

The Pacific Islands face some of the highest extinction rates in the world. The largest cause of extinction of single-country endemic species in the Pacific is the impact of invasive species. Invasives also severely impact our economies, ability to trade, sustainable development, health, ecosystem services, and the resilience of our ecosystems to respond to natural disasters.

island conservation bird island

Bird Island, Tuamotu-Gambier, French Polynesia. Credit: vgm8383

This year at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, the Honolulu Challenge, a global initiative to reduce the impact of invasive species was launched. Numerous countries have already made commitments to the Honolulu Challenge. Commitments aim to protect biodiversity and human wellbeing. The New Zealand Government, for example, has committed to completely eradicate invasive rats, stoats and possums by 2050.

SPREP will support activities to manage invasive species in Pacific Island countries based on regional  “Guidelines for Invasive Species Management in the Pacific.” Mr. Stuart Chape, the Director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Division of SPREP, said:

We aim to develop two multi-country projects with significant invasive species components which will be operational by the year 2020.

SPREP and island countries are working together to achieve Aichi Target 9: “By 2020, invasive alien species and pathways are identified and prioritized, priority species are controlled or eradicated, and measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment.”

Details here: Battling Invasive Species in the Pacific

Featured photo: Muri Beach. Credit: Andries3
Source: SPREP

About Sara Kaiser

Sara received a BA in anthropology from UC Santa Cruz in 2014. As a freelance writer and editor, she seeks to produce and highlight stories that support ecological responsibility, body awareness, emotional intelligence, and creative action, and reveal the connections between them.

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