Protected areas

A study tour of restoration projects was conducted for seven participants from four Polynesian countries (American Samoa, Niue, Samoa and Tonga) between March 20 and 27, 2015 to Auckland, New Zealand. All participants are involved in restoration projects in their home country, most funded under the GEF-PAS "Prevention, control and management of invasive alien species in the Pacific Islands" Project. Seven restoration sites were visited, including 3 island sites and 4 mainland sites.

The Tokelau Islands consist of three atolls (Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo) approximately 500 km north of Western Samoa. Their numerous islets are formed mainly of coral sand and rubble with no standing freshwater. Sixty-one plant species have been recorded, 13 of these being introduced and 10 being adventives. There are three vegetation zones, the beach, the beach-crest, and the interior coconut/fern zone with the physiognomy of a humid tropical forest. Marine invertebrates have not been studied.

Marine pollution is widely recognised as one of the four major threats to the world’s oceans, along with habitat destruction, over-exploitation of living marine resources and invasive marine species. Spills of oil and other chemicals into the marine environment, both from ships and land-based sources, is a significant source of pollution.

Water lettuce is a free floating aquatic plant in rosettes of green leaves, rosettes occuring singly or connected to others by short stolons whose origins are uncertain. It forms large, dense floating mats. The plant can adapt to life in ponds, dams, lakes and quiet areas of rivers and streams, but cannot withstand salt water. Still continue with observation whether it is to survive in winter.

Although the term biodiversity emerged from the pool of obscure jargon quite a few years ago, it is still enshrouded with significant ambiguity. At one extreme, some people use it as a loose synonym for nature. At the other extreme, some people reduce biodiversity to simplistic parameters, such as the number of species. Conservation organizations, both private and public, must navigate these waters with great care.

To formally launch the second phase of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme, a regional inception workshop for the Pacific was held at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Apia, Samoa from 11th to 15th June 2018. The aim of the inception workshop was to ensure that all 15 countries in the Pacific ACP Group of States were engaged for the second phase of BIOPAMA. The working title of the workshop was ‘Regional Workshop on Improving Information and Capacity for More Effective Protected Area Management and Governance in the Pacific’.