Biosecurity

The importance of coastal and marine environments to every aspect of the lives of Pacific Islanders cannot be overstated. Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) maintain resource rights and management responsibilities for over 30 million square kilometres of ocean, equivalent to the total land area of Canada, China and the United States of America. The total population of coastal Pacific Islanders is only 2.6 million. There are 11 square kilometres of ocean for each Pacific Islander.

Invasive alien mammals are the major driver of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation on islands. Over the past three decades, invasive mammal eradication from islands has become one of society's most powerful tools for preventing extinction of insular endemics and restoring insular ecosystems. As practitioners tackle larger islands for restoration, three factors will heavily influence success and outcomes: the degree of local support, the ability to mitigate for non-target impacts, and the ability to eradicate non-native species more cost-effectively.

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.

Pohnpei and their outer islands are very vulnerable to the introduction of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) because the CRB is present in Guam, Palau, Hawaii and South Pacific. Pohnpei is located near Guam, Palau and Hawaii and there is regular traffic by air and sea. For this reason it is very important that Pohnpei has a good Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in place not only for control/eradication but also for prevention and spread to other islands.

The Pacific islands have an extremely rich maritime heritage. The islands themselves were first populated by what are arguably the greatest mariners in human history. In pie-European times the Pacific islandersnavigated wooden canoes held together with coconut fibre across thousands of miles of open ocean, with