Foundations-Legislation

The Cook Islands signed the Convention on Biological Diversity at the Earth Summit in 1992. As a Party to the Convention, the Cook Islands Government committed itself and its people to conserve its biodiversity, to use it in a sustainable manner, and to share its benefits in an equitable manner. It also committed itself to control invasive species (the weeds and pest animals in natural ecosystems and agricultural systems), and to reduce the likelihood of future invasions.

The importance of coastal and marine environments to every aspect of the lives of Pacific Islanders cannot be overstated. Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) maintain resource rights and management responsibilities for over 30 million square kilometres of ocean, equivalent to the total land area of Canada, China and the United States of America. The total population of coastal Pacific Islanders is only 2.6 million. There are 11 square kilometres of ocean for each Pacific Islander.

American Samoa invasive species strategy and action plan for the only US territory in the South Pacific being such is faced with unique threats with its location from a national perspective and has a need for both nation al and regional collaborations. The ecological integrity of American Samoa is of utmost importance in the face of invasive species. The cultural identity of American Samoans is also closely tied to the ecological integrity of its natural environment.