Assessment of Pacific marine biodiversity
27 January 2011 | News story
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has released a report on the state of marine biodiversity in the Pacific. The region includes four EU overseas entities – French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, and Wallis and Futuna. The report provides an overview of major pressures affecting ecosystems in the region, as well as the responses of countries and territories in addressing, alleviating and/or mitigating these threats.
The major marine environmental issues identified include potential (and perceived) impacts from environmental change (including climate variability and climate change), habitat loss and the effects of coastal modification, the introduction of invasive species, fishing pressure (including destructive practices), increased sedimentation and nutrient loading from land-use practices (including coastal mining), solid waste and liquid effluents, and other sources of land and marine pollution.
The report concludes that the lack of human, technical, institutional and financial capacity in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories is a key factor in environmental management. Lack of capacity leads to poor monitoring and highlights the need to provide appropriate resources and funding for data collection, management and analysis in the region.
SPREP prepared the report for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), as part of a global assessment by the UNEP Regional Seas Programme.