SYNOPSIS OF CURRENT INVESTMENTS This section outlines the current major investments and participants in biodiversity
conservation in the hotspot and describes their strategic priorities and accomplishments.
The synopsis of current investments is based on information from the following major
Asian Development Bank’s Draft Pacific Regional Environment Strategy (ADB
CEPF Roundtable Reports for Fiji (Olson and Farley 2003), Micronesia
(Manner 2003), West Polynesia (Sesega 2003) and French Polynesia (Raust
Pacific Islands Roundtable Inventory of Conservation Action (http://www.dev-
Websites of several organizations including UNDP, SPREP, TNC, WWF-SPP,
AFD, and others; •
Communications with a range of donors, NGOs, and individuals.
Overall investments within the region occur at two scales:
Regional-level investments are programs and projects executed by a regional or
international organization and covering a number of countries in the region.
Country-level assistance denotes those projects executed within countries either
by government agencies or local NGOs. Funds for these projects are received
directly by the executing agency in country.
Across the hotspot, the majority of the bilateral and regional investments include
institutional strengthening, climate change and adaptation, energy, infrastructural
development, natural resource management, especially fisheries management, and
biodiversity conservation. For example, the MacArthur Foundation has made several
investments promoting community-based marine management in the South Pacific
region, establishing the University of the South Pacific as the focal point for the locally
managed marine area network.
The Australian government’s Regional Natural Heritage Program (RNHP) recently
supported CEPF in rolling out a series of pilot projects to prevent, control, and eradicate
invasive species in key biodiversity areas in the hotspot. Titled Local Action, Local Results: CEPF Invasive Alien Species Program for the Key Biodiversity Sites of the Polynesia & Micronesia Hotspot, Pacific Island Nations, this initiative supported a series
of complementary research and demonstration projects that were guided by technical
advice from the Pacific Invasives Initiative.
These projects in eight countries addressed conservation outcomes in seven key
biodiversity areas and 10 globally threatened species. Rat eradications were successfully
conducted on two islands and detailed plans to perform eradications and control programs
were prepared for another eight islands. Community engagement and support for this
program were significant and the awareness of the threat of invasive species in the region
was improved significantly, including rats, myna birds, yellow crazy ants and red fire
ants, invasive mosquitoes, rabbits, and invasive weeds such as Merremia peltata.
At the national scale the data accrued are incomplete, especially for some of the smaller
political units, for which few data were available. The threat of climate change and its
significant local impacts lead the GEF to support the Kiribati Adaptation Program as well
as a series of national capacity needs self-assessments.
Given the dispersion of such information, developing and maintaining an up-to-date
register of regional and national investments will be a role of the regional implementation
team in conjunction with organizations such as Pacific Islands Roundtable Inventory of
Analysis of Current Investments Due to the gaps in available information, it is not possible to analyze comprehensively
the geographic spread of investments and activity in biological conservation or to make a
thorough assessment of the dollar value of investments made in various areas of
In terms of the geographic spread of investments, Fiji has the largest number of
biodiversity conservation projects in the hotspot (excluding Hawaii). This should not be
surprising considering Fiji is the biggest and most developed independent hotspot country
eligible for CEPF funds. Very few biodiversity conservation activities are occurring in
the smaller pacific island counties such as Niue, Tokelau, and Tuvalu.
In terms of the thematic spread of funding, the following thematic areas are where
funding has been focused:
Resource management – a focus on forests, non-forest products and fisheries
Species research and conservation – a focus on threatened bird, whale and turtle
Invasive species – invasive species management projects in Cook Islands, Fiji,
French Polynesia, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Palau, Samoa,
Tokelau and Tonga;
Biodiversity conservation planning – NBSAPs in most countries and ecoregional
planning in two.
As stated in the ADB (2003) Regional Environmental Strategy, “it is clear that little
progress will be made if biodiversity conservation continues to be viewed as an
“environmental” issue. Conservation efforts must help to reduce poverty, enhance food
security and provide obvious links between the establishment of sustainable livelihoods
and the protection of species and ecosystems. This is fundamental to the mainstreaming
of environmental considerations—including conservation—at the national and regional
levels.” This is a critical point to consider in CEPF’s investment.
Resource Management Sustainable resource management is the biggest single component of environmental
assistance in the Pacific region, including the management of agricultural, marine, forest
and other natural resources (ADB 2003). The community-based approach pioneered by
the South Pacific Biodiversity Conservation Program (SPBCP) continues to be the
preferred approach in the way area and resource management interventions are made.
Engaging the local communities from the outset and paying due respect to the culture,
traditions and tenure has been underscored by the projects funded by the RNHP funds.
The major areas of assistance are in sustainable forest management and coastal fisheries
and marine resource management. Large forest resource management projects have been
funded at the regional level by GEF, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische
Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and by AusAID and in Fiji, by USAID.
In terms of marine and coastal resource management, one of the most significant regional
programs is the Strategic Action Plan for International Waters and the Pacific Islands
Oceanic Fisheries Management Project. These GEF-funded programs actively engage
local communities as partners in managing coastal resources and watershed areas.
Ecosystem Conservation There is little emphasis in establishing strict “protected areas” such as parks and reserves
in most countries in the hotspot. New additions to the region’s protected area network are
mainly through community-based conservation areas promoting conservation through
sustainable resource use. CBCAs have had some success in curbing the over-harvest of
resources in many islands and this trend is set to continue based on recent successful
experiences in several places. However, seriously threatened endemic species and
ecosystems demanding strict protection may not always be adequately protected in the
Terrestrial ecosystem conservation is not well supported at a regional level in the hotspot,
and few initiatives exist to protect terrestrial areas of regional or global significance. One
exception is the Sovi Basin Nature Reserve and endowment fund in Fiji. The Global
Conservation Fund has supported the establishment of the Nature Reserve and the
development of a village trust fund for the management of the reserve and to support
village development efforts.
The only regional terrestrial conservation program to speak of, aside from ad hoc support
for ex-SPBCP projects came under the recent RNHP program through CEPF. However,
there is continuing interest and funding for coastal ecosystems and coral reef
conservation in many parts of the hotspot as evidenced by the French-funded Coral Reef
Initiative for the South Pacific (CRISP), the Moore Foundation-funded Marine Managed
Areas Science program, and support from CI’s Global Conservation Fund for creation of
the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati.
On 18 August 2006, the World Heritage Centre approved the Phoenix Islands inclusion
on Kiribati’s Tentative List during the Cabinet meeting (No. 37/2006). This was largely
the result of efforts by the Kiribati Ministry of Environment and Social Development
with support provided by Conservation International and the New England Aquarium.
Of the 14 countries in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot eligible for CEPF grants, only
Fiji has a specific indicative allocation under the GEF’s new Resource Allocation
Framework. The amount tentatively indicated for Fiji is $5.1 million over the next four
years. All the other small Pacific island states are part of the “group allocation” of $146.8
million, which will be divided among 93 countries not receiving a specific amount. While
none of these allocations is guaranteed, they all will be made to governments, and the
prospect of funds reaching civil society organizations is small. The average amount
available to countries in the group allocation is about $1.6 million through phase four of
the GEF. While CEPF investments will need to be closely coordinated with the specific
decisions about spending GEF funds in this region, the potential overlap is small.
Species Research and Conservation There are relatively few terrestrial species research and conservation efforts in the
hotspot. Furthermore, current efforts focus on birds with few initiatives targeting the
conservation of other highly threatened groups especially flying foxes, land snails and
plants. In addition, much of the terrestrial species conservation effort is being conducted
in only two countries- Fiji and French Polynesia, with relatively little species
conservation work occurring in the smaller countries, especially the atoll states. A similar
geographic focus exists with respect to research into species populations, distribution,
threats and conservation requirements.
In Fiji, WCS has coordinated a number of research and conservation projects on some of
the more threatened endemic species, such as the crested iguana, giant long horn beetles
and landsnails. Much of the research is being conducted with the assistance of University
of the South Pacific students. In French Polynesia, a number of biotic surveys and
biogeographical studies have been conducted in recent years, much of it coordinated by
the Délégation à la Recherche (the research division of the Environment Ministry) in
collaboration with a number of partners. Examples of recent plant research include the
preparation of the Flora of French Polynesia (Florence, 1997), the Vascular Flora of the
Marquesas, studies into the impact of Miconia calvescens and other invasive plants on
native flora (e.g., Meyer and Florence, 1996), scientific expeditions to assess the
terrestrial biodiversity of the Austral Islands, botanical field-trips in the Society Islands
and conservation plans for protected plants. Most of the research remains unpublished
(Meyer, pers.comm, 2004). At the current time, the Délégation is working on a revised
list of threatened plants in French Polynesia, the exact location of their populations, and
current threats. Other taxonomic groups well studied in French Polynesia include the
freshwater fish and crustacea (Keith, P. et al 2002), land snails (Cowie et al and Coote et al) and terrestrial arthropods (Gillespie, R.G. et al).
A conservation program is being developed by the Zoological Society of London with
local partners on the highly threatened land snail fauna of French Polynesia, but no major
land snail conservation programs have been conducted anywhere else. Plant conservation
initiatives show a similar pattern. There is a regional AusAID funded project on the
conservation of forest genetic resources, but this only targets species of high timber value
and not other plant species or native ecosystems in the hotspot region.
BirdLife International’s Pacific IBA program is a key regional bird conservation
program. The project aims to build NGO capacity, perform research and initiate
community based conservation action through their well-established IBA process. The
program is based in Fiji and has funds for work in Fiji, Palau, New Caledonia and French
Polynesia from 2003 to 2007. There are a number of small bird conservation projects
being coordinated in Fiji (by WCS and others) in French Polynesia (mostly by SOP-
Manu) and in Samoa (coordinated by the Ministry of Environment with support from CI
and funding from RNHP). The bulk of these projects target conservation, translocation
and habitat restoration (such as control of invasives) of critically endangered bird species
especially monarch, pigeon and ground dove species.
A number of regional and national species conservation projects target marine mammals
and turtle species with the result that terrestrial species conservation efforts in general,
and flying fox, plant and land snail conservation in particular, represent a significant
Invasive Species Invasive alien species are well documented to be one of the major threats to biodiversity
in the hotspot. While a number of global and regional initiatives conduct research on
invasive species, disseminate knowledge and skills on invasives and develop new
techniques for invasives control, relatively few projects currently underway for actively
eradicating or controlling invasive species in the hotspot. Rat control projects have begun
on a number of islands with important bird populations, especially in the Cook Islands,
Fiji, French Polynesia, Tonga and Samoa. Brown tree snake control, eradication and
prevention projects in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas are being
coordinated by the U.S. Forest Service. Some research into the impact of other predators,
such as the impact of the mongoose and cane toad in outer Fiji islands, is underway. With
regard to the control of plant invaders, very few projects exist other than an ongoing
program on a number of islands in French Polynesia targeting Miconia calvascens and a
few small weed control projects in Samoa, Fiji, FSM and elsewhere.
SPREP is executing a regional invasive species program titled Pacific Invasive Learning
Network (PILN) that focuses on conducting training workshops in different sub regions
along with pilot projects such as offshore island weed and rat eradication in Samoa and
testing of mynah control and eradication techniques. The project aims to build Pacific
Island country and territory capacity to control, prevent and eradicate priority invasive
species through strengthening national legal and institutional frameworks to prevent the
arrival of new invasive species and through improving individual and collective
understanding, skills and organization. The project will also undertake some customized
island restoration activities. However, given the scale of the threat posed by invasive
species, the fact that the GEF project requires co-financing for project implementation
and that it will not include the French Territories, Pitcairn Islands, Tokelau and Easter
Island, there is still significant scope for CEPF investment in this area.
An important new initiative relating to invasive species is the pilot Pacific Invasives
Learning Network (PILN). This initiative aims to empower more effective invasive
species management through a participatory driven network of conservation area
managers. PILN, which held the inaugural meeting in Palau in May 2006 has created a
network to foster the development of innovative and adaptive approaches to invasive
species, help prevent, detect and respond rapidly to invasives and serves as a learning
vehicle and peer review of practitioner’s work. The network is a partnership venture with
TNC taking the operational lead, but with SPREP, the Pacific Invasive Initiative, and the
Invasive Species Specialist Group of IUCN as partners.
Biodiversity Conservation Planning Many countries in the hotspot have undertaken national biodiversity strategies and
actions and are in the midst of implementing add-on projects emanating from these plans.
These have been driven by obligations under the CBD and supported by funding received
through the GEF. Most of these planning documents are general in nature and are
strategic only within the context of national priorities. Funding received through existing
sources may well contribute to the protection of species and areas of national significance
but may not necessarily contribute to regional or international conservation priorities.
However, TNC’s pilot ecoregional planning project in FSM (and another underway in
Palau) should contribute significantly to conservation planning for terrestrial biodiversity
in Micronesia. SPREP has also formulated with its member countries regional strategies
for invasive species and birds but need funding to implement priority actions.
Pacific Biological Survey A major constraint to biodiversity conservation planning at all levels is the lack of up-to-
date information on the status of the region’s biodiversity. NZAID has contributed to the
development of the Cook Islands biodiversity database and Samoa has developed a
similar database and undertaken an ecosystem mapping exercise including the
identification of priorities for conservation. However, few countries in the region have
thorough biodiversity inventories or databases and even fewer have current data on the
conservation status of threatened species. Furthermore, data that does exist is scattered
widely in museum collections, in the scientific literature and elsewhere, making it
difficult to access and use.
Recognizing the lack of up-to-date information on the region’s biodiversity and
difficulties in accessing it has led to the development of the Pacific Biological Survey by
the Pacific Science Association. The Survey will include regional biological inventories
and taxonomic capacity building (Allison pers.comm. 2003). The survey will be modeled
on the highly successful Hawaii Biological Survey and will involve developing
comprehensive web accessible bibliographic databases, comprehensive species
checklists, development of species databases and improved interconnection among them,
along with the use of literature and specimen databases to identify research and survey
priorities. Survey data will be linked with U.S. National Biological Information
Infrastructure (NBII)/Pacific Basin Information Node (PBIN). PBIN will seek to
integrate data for the region and to make data available to a wide range of users over the
internet (Allison, 2003). PABITRA will provide the ecosystem framework for the Pacific
Biological Survey (Mueller-Dombois, pers. comm., 2004) while the Bishop Museum will
be the executing agency (Eldredge, pers.comm, 2004).
GEF Small Grants Program for the Pacific The GEF Small Grants Program (SGP) for the Pacific follows on from the successful
implementation of SGPs in other regions. The Pacific program has established programs
in Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, and Samoa. The SGP awards grants of up to
$50,000 to NGOs and community-based organizations to deliver global environmental
benefits in the areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, protection of
international waters, prevention of land degradation (primarily desertification and
deforestation), and elimination of persistent organic pollutants through community-based
CEPF NICHE FOR INVESTMENT The purpose of the CEPF investment niche is to define explicitly what CEPF is best
placed to target in CEPF eligible countries in the hotspot. Niche development was based
on an analysis of information gathered as part of the profile preparation phase. It should
be noted that while information from all countries in the hotspot has been compiled, the
analysis of information has been conducted within the context of the geographic
prioritization dictated by CEPF eligibility.
Three major themes have been analyzed to define the niche for the Polynesia-Micronesia
Hotspot: species and site outcomes; major threats to Endangered species; and current
environmental investments together with national and regional conservation strategies. A
number of overarching factors have emerged from this analysis and have contributed to
the definition of the niche for CEPF investment in this hotspot.
Conservation Outcomes One of the primary factors in defining the niche is the determination of globally
threatened species and site outcomes and a defined subset of these that CEPF investment
will tackle. Since CEPF funding will only be available for conservation activity in the 15
eligible political units in the hotspot, species, and site outcomes have only been prepared
for these political units. Species outcomes have then been prioritized based on the degree
of threat to the species, whether the species requires special attention such as the control
of invasives or harvesting (species focused actions), and the taxonomic distinctiveness of
the species. Site outcomes have been prioritized based on whether the site is irreplaceable
(contains species found in no other site), on the number of single site endemics in the site,
and the alien-free status of the site.
An analysis of globally threatened species in the hotspot reveals three major findings.
The first is that our knowledge of the biodiversity of the hotspot is very patchy,
incomplete, and not well managed. Data are especially incomplete in terms of geographic
distribution, taxonomic representation and in particular, population status of threatened
species. The taxonomic groups that are least well-studied include the invertebrates, fish,
and plants, while the geographic deficiency is greatest for the small, isolated islands,
especially those in the less wealthy countries of the hotspot. The second major finding is
that terrestrial species and ecosystem conservation are not currently well-supported in the
region. Despite the urgency, there is little current investment in the protection of
numerous and highly threatened terrestrial areas of regional or global significance.
Greater emphasis is needed on the conservation of the most viable and least disturbed
natural ecosystems, such as the larger forest blocks, based on sound conservation biology
principles. A third finding is that the practice of conservation through conventional forms
of protected areas throughout the Pacific Islands region appears to have been largely
ineffective, having historically been applied without due respect for customary land and
resource tenure, traditional practices and rights. Recent experience indicates that co-
management of protected areas by communities and government or an NGO are more
effective than conventional approaches but need to include a strong communication and
environmental awareness strategy to be successful.
Significant opportunity therefore exists for CEPF to:
support action-oriented biodiversity research that has a clear management objective; •
improve the conservation of threatened terrestrial species, especially those that are
most endangered, require species-focused action and are taxonomically distinctive;
improve the conservation of threatened habitats and ecosystems, especially critical
refugia that that are irreplaceable, distinctive, and have good viability and potential
for persistence; and
build upon recent participatory efforts for the co-management of conservation areas
involving both government and civil society.
Significant Threats As noted, the terrestrial biodiversity of the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot is among the
most highly threatened in the world, especially when calculated per unit of land area or
per capita. Oceania as a whole has had the greatest number of species extinctions of any
region of the world since 1600 and many more taxa are on the verge of extinction.
Furthermore, only about 20 percent of the vegetation remains in a natural state, the rest is
highly degraded. The major threats to Pacific biota are anthropogenic and include
invasive alien species, habitat alteration and loss, destructive harvesting, and the over-
exploitation of natural resources.
Of all the threats, targeting invasive species is one of the most important areas of activity.
There are a number of global and regional projects that have focused on researching,
gathering, and disseminating information on invasive species but relatively little funding
has been available for island restoration activities in the hotspot. A regional strategy that
addresses invasive species has been developed, and a major GEF-funded program
targeting invasive species, is about to commence. However, the GEF-funded program
will focus on strengthening national legal and institutional frameworks rather than
invasive species control and will not be executed in all countries in the hotspot. There are
therefore significant opportunities for CEPF to complement and support existing
initiatives, especially in countries not covered by the GEF program such as the French
There are good opportunities for CEPF to:
support targeted efforts to implement components of the regional invasive species
strategy, specifically where it will secure protection for a subset of the species and
promote community-based invasive species control projects and activities that
provide rural employment and alleviate poverty, similar to those used by the
“Working for Water” project in South Africa; and
promote collaborative arrangements between the Invasive Species Specialist Group,
the Global Invasive Species Program, the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project,
SPREP’s Invasive Species program, the pilot Pacific Island Invasives Learning
and several NGOs that hold significant scientific and technical expertise
for this effort in the Pacific region.
Current Investments and Strategies CEPF’s support to civil society efforts will operate within the context and framework of
existing and planned regional, national, and local investments in biodiversity
conservation. There are a number of such efforts in the hotspot. Efforts at the national
level included the development of National Environmental Management Strategies in the
1990s, and more recently the preparation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action
Plans in many hotspot countries. The latter form a blueprint for national conservation
action in each country. At the regional level, the major strategic effort is the 2003-2007
Pacific Islands Action Strategy for Nature Conservation. The theme of the current
strategy is the mainstreaming of nature conservation into all development sectors
involving partnerships between conservationists, governments, the private sector, and
civil society. The strategy has the support of Pacific Island countries, SPREP, donors, and
the regional NGO community.
An analysis of current investments and strategies indicates that significant
implementation gaps remain in a number of areas. While there are many existing national
and regional conservation strategies, the strategies need much stronger support for
implementation. Terrestrial conservation efforts in general and species and site
conservation efforts in particular, are chronically under-funded. The taxonomic groups
that have been least well supported include the flying foxes, land snails, and plants. There
are therefore significant opportunities for CEPF to complement existing strategies and
support under-funded components that target biodiversity outcomes.
Major Action Strategy objectives that CEPF is well-placed to target include:
the strengthening of conservation networks and partnerships, especially institutional
capacity and community support essential for long-term conservation;
empowering local people, communities, and institutions to effectively participate in
decisionmaking and action;
raising awareness and promoting conservation values;
increasing the number of areas under effective conservation management;
safeguarding and restoring threatened species of ecological or cultural significance;
controlling the spread of invasive species and preventing new introductions; and
improving knowledge and understanding of the state of the Pacific’s environment
CEPF Niche The niche of CEPF in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot will be to catalyze action by civil society to counteract threats to biodiversity, especially from invasive species, in key
biodiversity areas in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot. The geographic focus for CEPF
intervention in the hotspot will be on CEPF eligible countries only. The three primary strategic directions are:
prevent, control and eradicate invasive species in key biodiversity areas;
improve the conservation status and management of a prioritized set of key
biodiversity areas; and
Build awareness and participation of local leaders and community members in
the implementation of protection and recovery plans for threatened species.
A fourth strategic direction is to provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of
CEPF investment through a regional implementation team and therefore complements the
three primary strategic directions.
The CEPF niche has been developed with the understanding that levels of funding
support will vary according to absorptive capacity of local civil society and partners,
prioritization of the species and site outcomes, political climate, biodiversity assessments,
and other key factors likely to change over the course of CEPF investment.
CEPF INVESTMENT STRATEGY AND PROGRAM FOCUS Priority Outcomes for CEPF Investment The 244 species and 161 sites defined for this hotspot are far too many for a single
investment program to handle alone. Therefore, species and site outcomes were
prioritized for CEPF investment. It is hoped that other conservation funds and
organizations will provide funding to achieve the remaining species and site outcomes to
complement CEPF investments.
Species Prioritization The species that are in most need of conservation action were prioritized into one of six
categories based on the following three major criteria:
Need for species-focused action. Species that require species-focused action such as
the control of invasive species or harvesting, in addition to the conservation of
habitat, are given a higher priority than species for which habitat conservation is the
main activity required. •
Red List Category. Species were prioritized based on the degree of threat as
determined by the IUCN Red List. High priority was given to Critically Endangered
species, medium priority to Endangered species, and lower priority to Vulnerable
species. There are 92 Critically Endangered species eligible for CEPF funds.
Taxonomic distinctiveness. This is a measure of how unique a species is relative to
other species. For example, species that are the only member of their entire family or
even of their genus are more taxonomically distinct than species in very large families
or genera. In this prioritization analysis, taxonomically unique species were
considered have a higher priority than less unique species in large genera and families
(the methodology for calculating taxonomic distinctiveness is shown in Appendix 4);
The methodology for prioritizing species was as follows. First species requiring species-
focused action were identified. Those that are Critically Endangered are a priority one,
while those that are Endangered are a priority two, and those that are Vulnerable are a
priority three. Within each priority group, species were prioritized based on taxonomic
distinctiveness. Species that are not known to require species-focused action, but rather
can be best conserved by protecting the sites in which they occur, were also given a
priority ranking. However, those species did not make the final list of species priorities,
considering that CEPF investment in the region will be limited and there are many highly
threatened species in need of species-focused action.
Based on this objective analysis, a total of 41 species were classified as priority one and
26 as priority two – these were selected as priorities for CEPF investment and are
presented in Table 7. Five species do not have globally significant populations in the
hotspot (i.e. more than 20 percent of the global population), and were not considered in
the prioritization. It should be noted that given limitations in data availability and quality,
the prioritization is an initial attempt and may change as more accurate data become
Table 7. Priorities for Species-Specific Investment by CEPF
Brachylophus vitiensis crested iguana
Chelonia mydas green turtle
Eretmochelys imbricata hawksbill turtle
* Taxonomic distinctiveness is a composite calculation based on the number of species in a genus and the
global number of species and genera in a family. For the full methodology please refer to Appendix 4.
Site Prioritization To focus the investment of CEPF in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot, a prioritization of
the key biodiversity areas was undertaken. The 162 sites were prioritized based on the
criteria of irreplaceability and vulnerability. Due to a lack of comprehensive threat data
for each site, the threat status of species found within the site was used as a proxy for
vulnerability. An explicit aim of this analysis was to make sure that all irreplaceable sites
were captured among the priorities, which must attract the attention of the global
conservation community in order to prevent biodiversity loss. The following step-wise
process was used to identify the irreplaceable sites.
Identify key biodiversity areas containing Critically Endangered or Endangered
species restricted to those sites (33 sites).
Identify key biodiversity areas, not listed above, containing Critically Endangered
or Endangered species restricted to only two sites (14 additional sites).
Identify key biodiversity areas, not listed above, containing Vulnerable species
listed for only one site (13 additional sites). Given that a few of the Vulnerable
species recorded for only one key biodiversity area are not site endemics (i.e. we
expect them to occur in other areas but lacked information during the timeframe
of this profile), we treated these as a lower priority than the second site for a
Critically Endangered or Endangered species.
Only one additional site was needed to ensure that all Critically Endangered and
Endangered species were represented, and so this site was included as well. Henderson
Island emerged as irreplaceable in the first tier, but was dropped due to expert opinion
that it is not threatened and should not be a priority. Thus, there are 60 sites prioritized
for intervention by CEPF in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot (Table 8, Figure 3).
Table 8. Priorities for Site-Level Investment by CEPF
Site No 1 Site Name Country Land Area (Ha) Existing protected area in the site? Number of globally threatened species* Number of site endemics 1 Atiu
Fiji 1080 No
National Trust Forest
Fiji 2430 Yes
Yadua Taba Island
24090 No 5
13200 No 6
Site No 1 Site Name Country Land Area (Ha) Existing protected area in the site? Number of globally threatened species* Number of site endemics Polynesia
33600 No 5
17200 No 4
Kosrae upland forest FSM
FSM 10372 Yes
Palau 21000 No 10
O le Pupu Pu’e
Savaii Lowland and
Site No 1 Site Name Country Land Area (Ha) Existing protected area in the site? Number of globally threatened species* Number of site endemics Lake
Notes: n.d. = no data
1. Site numbers are the same as those shown in Figure 3 and Appendix 3
2. Land area is approximate only
3. Invasive free status is a qualitative assessment of how free the site is of major invasive
species (such as the ship rat, mongoose, vertebrate browsers, and invasive weeds)
Figure 3. Site Outcomes in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot and Priority Sites for CEPF Investment
Program Focus The programmatic focus of CEPF in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot will be on
reducing the risks of extinction of a prioritized set of 41 globally threatened species and
on improving the conservation of 60 key biodiversity areas as indicated above. The
investment strategy and programmatic focus are on actions in CEPF eligible countries only.
The approach for achieving this focus in the Pacific context necessarily involves
strengthening the capacity of resource stewards to manage and conserve threatened
species and sites. This will require the application of practical conservation science to
improve our knowledge of biological systems and the tools to conserve it, along with the
development of collaborative partnerships between civil society organizations and the
local communities and governments who are the stewards of the biological resources. To
maximize leverage and impact from all investment priorities, CEPF will strive to develop
partnerships that strengthen existing initiatives with similar objectives.
The specific strategic directions and necessary interventions or investment priorities
required to achieve the program focus are discussed in the following section.
Strategic Directions Four strategic directions have been developed for the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot
based on three subregional roundtable meetings (in Western Polynesia, Fiji, and
Micronesia) and two meetings of regional conservation experts (in Apia) along with an
analysis of species outcomes, threats, current and planned investments, and strategies and
infrastructural frameworks in the hotspot.
The strategic directions, along with the investment priorities under each, are summarized
in Table 9, and are described in more detail in the text following the table.
Table 9. CEPF Strategic Directions and Investment Priorities for the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot
Strategic Directions Investment Priorities 1. Prevent, control, and eradicate invasive species in key biodiversity areas 1.1 Strengthen defences against the introduction and
spread of invasive species and pathogens that threaten
1.2 Control or eradicate invasive species in key biodiversity
areas, particularly where they threaten native species
1.3 Perform research, provide training in management
techniques, and develop rapid response capacity
against particularly serious invasive species
2. Strengthen the conservation status and management of 60 key biodiversity areas
2.1 Develop and manage conservation areas that conserve
currently unprotected priority sites, especially critical
refugia such as large forest blocks and alien-free
2.2 Improve the management of existing protected areas
that are priority site outcomes
3. Build awareness and