Protected areas - Oceania

The intentional and unintentional transfer of species from one water body to another around the world has boomed in recent decades. Many seas and regions have been invaded by a high number of non-native species. Some of these species thrive in their new habitats, out-competing native species and changing

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.

The Aleipata Marine Protected (MPA) Management Plan is a partnership between the Government of Samoa and all the villages of the District of Aleipata. Both partners have responsibility for the continuous implementation of this Plan which highlights a collaborative approach to the sustainable use and protection of the Marine resources and environment in the District.

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.