Foundations-Building Capacity

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.

The purpose of this booklet is to encourage the young people of the Federated States of Micronesia to pursue careers in environmental science and conservation, with the further goal of sustainable natural resource use and preservation of biodiversity in the Pacific. The text aims to make these topics relevant by focusing on the environments of Chuuk State and using Chuukese and outer island examples to illustrate scientific concepts.

Invasive alien species represent an insidious and pervasive threat to the environmental, economic and human well-being of the Pacific islands. Pacific island ecosystems make up one of the world’s important biodiversity hotspots, with high numbers of endemic species that are particularly vulnerable to extinction due to their limited habitat and isolation.

The Indian, or common, myna, Acridotheres tristis (Sturnidae: Passeriformes: Aves) was introduced throughout New Zealand in the 1870?s by locals and Acclimatisation Societies (Bull et al., 1985). Birds subsequently established in most of the North Island, with high densities present in the urban and suburban areas. Common mynas continue to flourish in the northern and central North Island, and are usually more abundant than most native birds in gardens and parks (LCR, 2008)

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.

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