Fiji

Information document on GEF-6 Project Identification Form (PIF) - Building Capacities to Address Invasive Alien Species to Enhance the Chances of Long-term Survival of Terrestrial Endemic and Threatened Species on Taveuni Island and Surrounding Islets

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, cyclones, and tropical depressions cause average annual direct losses of US$284 million in the Pacific. With a combined population of fewer than 10 million people, annual losses are the highest in the world on a per-capita basis. Extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall are closely linked to climate change, suggesting that Pacific Island nations face increasing risk of disasters such as flooding and landslides. Proactive management through infrastructure development, social solutions, and/or ecosystem-based adaptation can mitigate these risks.

This booklet is an outcome of a Climate Change and Health symposium organized by the core working group of the Piloting Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Human Health project in Fiji. The views expressed in the document by named authors are solely the responsibility of the named authors. Referencing and quote from this booklet should be acknowledged accordingly. It is a product of Ministry of Health & Medical Services -Fiji, MOHMS Fiji and World Health Organization, WHO collaboration.

Kiritimati Atoll's avifauna has regional and international significance. The Atoll provides nesting roosting, feeding and migration sites for over 40 bird species.

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.

The Pacific islands of Oceania cover almost 15% of the world’s surface and are characterised by a high degree of ecosystem and species diversity. The region is characterised by thousands of isolated small coral atolls and higher volcanic islands, which has led to the high diversity of species found today. In fact, the number of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth (endemic species) is extremely high - often up to 90% for particular groups. Often, these rare and endemic species are adapted to specialised habitats and limited to small areas of a few islands.