Clown fish in anemone home. Cairns, Australia.

A monthly update of IUCN news in the Oceania Region: April 2012


Solomon Islands Prime Minister champions species conservation

Honorable Gordon Darcy Lilo, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands recently accepted the challenge to take on the role as champion for conservation of species and biodiversity at a regional and international level on the request of the the Pacific Islands Species Forum in Honiara, Solomon Islands.


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Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon. Gordon Lilo addresses the forum.

The Inaugural Pacific Islands Species Forum was kindly hosted by the Government of the Solomon Islands, an IUCN State Member, and attracted more than 70 scientists and conservation practitioners from and beyond the Pacific region. It was a successful event centered on networking, sharing and prioritizing Pacific species research and conservation. The next forum will be held in 2014. 

The Smooth Hammerhead

"To conserve we must appreciate" says Prime Minister Lilo

In opening the three day forum, the Prime Minster of Solomon Islands, Honorable Gordon Darcy Lilo stressed the need “to work together to halt the extinction of species" because in one way or another we are dependent on healthy ecosystems, "we take from the bounty of nature".

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Mr. Jope Davetanivalu, Director, Fiji Department of Environment. Governments were also represented at the forum.

Forum calls on Pacific people to value all species

 “Pacific Islanders must make every effort to understand and value the various species of plants and animals and natural environments that make up our island homes”. This is the call from the scientists, local to global experts and conservation practitioners who gathered at the inaugural Pacific Islands Species Forum last week in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

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The newly discovered plant

Most Pacific species still unknown

The Pacific is blessed with amazing ecosystems and species diversity, but scientists say that there is still not enough known about species from this region to adequately inform conservation efforts for them.  

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Invasive predator snail (Euglandina rosea) feeding on an endemic snail species in French Polynesia

Another kind of threat for island biodiversity

Invasive alien species (IAS) are a global concern as they threaten biodiversity, health, food security, tourism and trade. Island ecosystems are most vulnerable to the impacts of IAS. Scientists say that 50%-67% of extinctions of terrestrial species on islands have been caused by the impacts of IAS.  

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Christine Milne, IUCN Vice-President

Former IUCN Vice-President becomes leader of Australian Green Party

IUCN welcomes the election of Christine Milne as leader of the Greens, one of the most popular political parties in Australia. Senator Milne was an IUCN Councillor for eight years, serving as one of four Vice Presidents from 2005 to 2008.

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Taholo Kami and the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Sato Kilman.

Dialogue with Prime Minister Sato of Vanuatu

This month the Regional Director, Taholo Kami, and Green Growth Coordinator, Feiiloakitau Tevi, were able to meet the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Sato Kilman in Port Vila accompanied by Director of Environment, Albert Williams.  The Prime Minister was keen on Vanuatu becoming a state member of IUCN and also supported a request for a high level economic dialogue with the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and various sectors on green growth.  IUCN looks forward to Vanuatu State Membership.

Navua River, Viti Levu, Fiji

Nature's beauty - worth protecting

In the second week of April, as part of its planning activities and to help staff understand the conservation efforts that IUCN supports, the Oceania Regional Office organized a field trip to the Upper Navua Conservation Area (UNCA). UNCA is Fiji's only listed Ramsar Site and the only conservation area in the country managed by a private enterprise.

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Visit to Melanesian Spearhead Group Secretariat

An official visit, by the Regional Director, was made to the MSG Secretariat to follow up on the groundbreaking Melanesian Environment and Climate Change Declaration signed by the leaders of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islands in March. The declaration called for all development to be guided by a “framework for green growth” and outlined three big activities to move a commitment to environment and climate change challenges in Melanesia:

  •  A Melanesia Terrestrial Commitment – to include forest, large river systems or catchments, mountain and other important ecosystems
  • A Melanesian Blue Carbon Initiative
  • A Melanesian Green Fund

IUCN commends the MSG on these big steps and  will continue to support the MSG through its technical advisory group in developing the above initiatives.


2013 Pacific Conservation Conference expected to bring in hundreds

The 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is anticipated to be the largest regional conservation forum - attracting more than 300 conservation practitioners working in the region. This is a forum organized every five years by the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation.

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Posa Skelton of SPREP is an expert on invasive species in the Pacific.

Sharing lessons at roundtable

Conservation project-related lessons was the highlight of the latest meeting of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT), held in Honiara, Solomon Islands on April 23 – 24. The PIRT strives to implement the Action Strategy for Nature Conservation in the Pacific Island Region.

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Divers admire groupers and sharks in a Caribbean Marine Protected Area

BIOPAMA targets capacity improvement in Pacific

Implementation of the new BIOPAMA (Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management) Programme began last month with the global inception workshop held at IUCN's headquarters in Switzerland. The protected area component of this programme aims to improve planning and management by using the best available data and scientific knowledge. IUCN Oceania's Programme Coordinator, Bernard O'Callaghan attended the three-day inception meeting. 

> Learn more
> Read comments on BIOPAMA's inception

Welcome Anjani Gosai

Anjani Gosai, IUCN Oceania Regional Office.

This month we welcome Mrs Anjani Gosai, who joins our Finance team as Assistant Accountant. Prior to joining IUCN, Anjani worked at the Water Authority of Fiji as Accountant. Anjani has been working in the infrastructure/service industry in Fiji since 2008.  Anjani is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific and was also part of the University's Finance Section for a brief period. Contact Anjani at



Pacific Launch of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All - 18 May. University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. More

 Monaco Blue Initiative Conference - 3 - 4 June. Jeosu, Korea. More

World Environment Day - 5 June

12th International Coral Reef Symposium - 9 -13 July. Queensland,  Australia. More

World Conservation Congress - 6 -15 September. Jeju, Korea. More

International River Symposium - 8 -11 October. Melbourne, Australia. More

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World Conservation Congress

2012 Congress logo Registration is now OPEN! for the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. 

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> Register here


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