Oceania is geographically one of IUCN’s largest regional programmes, covering over 100 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean. IUCN's Oceania region covers Australia, New Zealand and the 22 countries and territories of the Pacific Islands making up Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
The region stretches almost 12,000km from East to West and 6,000 km from North to South, with a combined Exclusive Economic Zone of close to 40 million square km. In contrast, the total land area is just over 8.5 million square km, with the larger islands of Australia (7 million square km), Papua New Guinea (463,000 square km) and New Zealand (268,000 square km) accounting for approximately 93% of this total land area.
The total human population is estimated at 35 million, with just over 22 million in Australia and 4 million in New Zealand. Approximately 9 million people inhabit the various Pacific Island countries and territories, with differences observed according to the size of the country: for example over 5 million people in the largest land mass of Papua New Guinea and populations under 2,000 in countries such as Niue and Tokelau. The Pitcairn Islands have less than 50 inhabitants. Each year as many as 3 million visitors to the region increase these figures.
Our work in the region
Increasing awareness about the importance of species and the threats they are facing is crucial. The concept of “Investing in Nature” is central to this approach: too often, humans take other species and their day-to-day uses for granted. It is vital that investments in natural resources promote sustainable long-term use, management and conservation of the species we utilise in our everyday lives.
IUCN is working with like-minded organizations to contribute to the conservation of species and ecosystems in the Oceania region.
For more information on our work in the region click here.