Biodiversity

Life on Earth is disappearing fast and will continue to do so unless urgent action is taken. Well designed and effectively managed systems of protected areas are a vital tool for reducing biodiversity loss while delivering environmental goods and services that underpin sustainable development. There are currently over 130,000 protected areas worldwide, covering around 13.9 % of the Earth’s land surface and 5.9 % of the territorial marine surface. These areas represent a tremendous resource for conserving biodiversity and for protecting vital ecosystem services.

2012 has seen the successful implementation of a new structure for SPREP reflecting the priority areas in our Strategic Plan: biodiversity and ecosystem management; climate change; environmental monitoring and governance; and waste management and pollution control.

Abstract Global changes, from habitat loss and invasive species to anthropogenic climate change, have initiated the sixth great mass extinction event in Earth's history. As species become threatened and vanish, so too do the broader ecosystems and myriad benefits to human well-being that depend upon biodiversity. Bringing an end to global biodiversity loss requires that limited available resources be guided to those regions that need it most. The biodiversity hotspots do this based on the conservation planning principles of irreplaceability and vulnerability.

La Convention pour la Diversite Biologique (CBD) developpee en 1992 lors du sommet de l'Organisation des Nations Unies a Rio de Janeiro reflete la reaction de la communaute mondiale face a l'erosion acceleree de la biodiversite mondiale.

The biodiversity of the Solomon Islands, in general, is in good health. Low human population density, uninhabited islands, difficulties to access and use natural resources, and customary and legal protection, in various ways, can help explain this. Threats to the country’s biodiversity are mainly localized and vary across islands, biomes, ecosystems, corridors and taxonomy. In recent years habitat destruction and overexploitation of wildlife has had enormous pressure on all types of biomes.

Since Elton highlighted the problem of biological invasions, numerous studies have established their importance in the structural evolution of natural communities, in particular insular communities. Because of their isolation, islands are regarded as natural evolution laboratories which are characteristically very fragile once the boundary is disturbed. This fragility is illustrated by the high proportion of species extinctions observed in islands: since 1600, more than 75% of monitored disappearances have been registered in islands.

Biodiversity conservation - that is, the conservation of plants and animals that make up the species richness of a country - is widely recognised as an issue of importance for the South Pacific as it is relevant to family livelihoods, culture and economic development as well as to the unique biological story that these islands possess. The biodiversity of the region is threatened by a broad range of causes including unsustainable logging and fishing, invasive species, pollution, soil erosion, fire, habitat conversion and agricultural run-off.

Climate change is a major threat to global biodiversity. From the tropics to the Poles, the world’s ecosystems are all under pressure. A study published in the scientific journal Nature posited that 15 to 37% of terrestrial animal and plant species could be at risk of extinction because of human-induced impacts on climate (Thomas et al., 2004). Scattered across the four corners of the Earth, European Union overseas entities, are home to a biological diversity that is as rich as it is vulnerable.

The book presents an analysis of the ecological, economic and social threats posed by the introduction and spread of non-native species. It provides a comprehensive description of impacts of non-native species from all five kingdoms of life across all ecosystems of the world. New insights into the impacts arising from biological invasions are generated through taking an ecosystem services perspective.