Foundations-Building Capacity

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 importance of natural resources to the economy of the Pacific island region cannot be overstated. Island communities have unsurprisingly relied heavily on ocean resources for sustenance and economic activities, such as fishing and transport. Land-based resources are also vital at subsistence level, and are providing increasing development opportunities, for example through forestry and mineral mining.

Pacilic island countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of invasive species. After habitat destruction or modification, invasive species are responsible for more species extinctions than any other cause. Further, the rate of extinction of native species has been higher on islands than anywhere else in the world. Invasive species have also degraded native ecosystems.

Invasive alien species are recognised as one of the leading threats to biodiversity and also impose enormous costs on agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and other human enterprises, as well as on human health. Rapidly accelerating human trade, tourism, transport, and travel over the past century have dramatically enhanced the spread of invasive species, allowing them to surmount natural geographic barriers. Not all non-indigenous species are harmful. In fact the majority of species used in agriculture, forestry and fisheries are alien species.