Vanuatu joins the Union

24 August 2012 | News story

The Government of the Republic of Vanuatu has officially announced its decision to join IUCN by endorsing the IUCN Statutes. The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been designated by the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu as its liaison with the IUCN Secretariat.

IUCN extends its warmest welcome to Vanuatu, an archipelago of over 80 islands in the South Pacific Ocean located east of Australia and west of Fiji. Vanuatu is mountainous with a few active volcanoes on some islands. It is part of the biodiversity hotspot of east Melanesia, harboring notable endemic species and diverse marine and coastal life. Many communities rely heavily on native species for their livelihoods, and as such, the economic, social and cultural value of species is very high.

Natural resources are invaluable to the people of Vanuatu; agriculture and eco-tourism are the main sources of revenue. A country rich in culture; Vanuatu is considered one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with more than 100 distinct languages and dialects.

The Government of Vanuatu is party to key environmental conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and others.

“Vanuatu is a critical link in ensuring the Melanesian countries are on board – especially with their unique biodiversity and cultural contribution to the global community,” says Taholo Kami, Regional Director, IUCN Oceania.

IUCN Oceania has been working with the Vanuatu government under its Energy programme, looking at alternative renewable energy resources, and through the Water and Wetlands programme, whereby Vanuatu is a receiving country under the Mangrove Ecosystems for Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihoods project, which aims to safeguard and manage mangrove ecosystems in five Pacific countries. IUCN Oceania looks forward to continued collaboration in these and other programme areas.

For more information on IUCN Membership in Oceania please contact Helen Pippard, Membership Focal Point at helen.pippard@iucn.org