Climate change

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.

Rattus rattus, or black rats, are rampaging through Tuvalu's atolls and gnawing through the country's chief export crop - coconuts.

The biodiversity of the Pacific region is recognised as being globally significant. The Solomon Islands was recently included into the famous "Coral Triangle", the area of ocean considered to have the highest marine biodiversity in the world. This includes the waters of the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The Solomon Islands Rainforest Ecoregion is recognised as "one of the world's great Centres of Plant Diversity"

On 20 November 2006 the Biological Diversity Advisory Committee (BDAC), whose role it was to advise the then Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage, held a one day workshop in Canberra on climate change and invasive species’ impacts on biodiversity. Eight talks were given, followed by a session of free discussion. Most attendees were experts from government departments, universities, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and cooperative research centres (CRCs).

This report examines the role of the ecosystem services in reducing the vulnerability of the people of the Pacific Islands to climate change. Specifically, it describes the decision-making frameworks and the current state of knowledge of specific ecosystem-service/development relationships that are relevant to EbA.

Invasive alien species (IAS) are animals, plants or other organisms that are introduced into places outside their natural range, negatively impacting native biodiveristy, ecosystem services or human well-being. IAS are one of the biggest causes of biodiversity loss and species extinctions and are also a global threat to food security and livelihoods. IAS are compounded by climate change. Climate change facilitates the spread and establishement of many alien species and creates new opportunities for them to become invasive.

Island conservation programs have been spectacularly successful over the past five decades, yet they generally do not account for impacts of climate change. Here, we argue that the full spectrum of climate change, especially Island conservation programs have been spectacularly successful over the past five decades, yet they generally do not account for impacts of climate change. Here, we argue that the full spectrum of climate change, especially sea-level rise and loss of suitable climatic conditions, should be rapidly integrated into island biodiversity research and management.

The last two decades have seen an upsurge in research into the potential synergies between invasive species and climate change, with evidence emerging of increased invader success under climate change. All stages along the naturalization-invasion continuum are likely to be affected, from the introduction and establishment of alien species to their spread and transition to serious invaders. A key question is whether alien plants will have a relative advantage under climate change conditions.