Foundations-Building Capacity

The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the various frameworks and initiatives that exist in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) with regards to invasive species management and how they could be utilised towards the development of a coordinated mechanism by the countries in the Melanesian region in addressing biosecurity and invasive species concerns. The terms of reference for this report can be seen in Annex 1.

The first and second editions of the Handbook, on which this Pacific version is substantially based, were prepared as a practical introduction to negotiating or working on Mulitlateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). They were prepared for people with little or no technical background in negotiations.They were also intended to function as a key reference tool for experienced negotiators. As a result the subject matter is developed at a relatively broad level.

Think of a challenging conservation problem you have encounters - protecting a rare species, winning support for legislation, cleaning up a river, or sustainably managing a forest.

A study tour of restoration projects was conducted for seven participants from four Polynesian countries (American Samoa, Niue, Samoa and Tonga) between March 20 and 27, 2015 to Auckland, New Zealand. All participants are involved in restoration projects in their home country, most funded under the GEF-PAS "Prevention, control and management of invasive alien species in the Pacific Islands" Project. Seven restoration sites were visited, including 3 island sites and 4 mainland sites.

The Division of Environment and Conservation of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Samoa (DEC-MNRE) is implementing a project as part of the Global Environment Facility - Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS) Invasive Alien Species project funded by the United Nations Environment Program and executed by SPREP. The project identifies the need to determine realistic management goals and best management practices for myna species in Samoa and use them to write a management plan.

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.