participation of local leaders and community members in the implementation of protection and recovery plans for threatened species
3.1 Develop and implement species recovery plans for
highly threatened species requiring species-focused
action, especially those that have received little effort to
3.2 Strengthen leadership and effectiveness of local
conservation organizations by developing peer-learning
networks and promoting exchanges and study tours
3.3 Raise the environmental awareness of communities
about species and sites of global conservation concern
through social marketing and participatory planning and
4. Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of CEPF investment through a regional implementation team
4.1 Build a broad constituency of civil society groups
working across institutional and political boundaries
toward achieving the shared conservation goals
described in the ecosystem profile.
Strategic Direction 1: Prevent, control, and eradicate invasive species in key biodiversity areas It has already been stated that invasive species pose the dominant threat to the native
biota and ecosystems of the hotspot. Dealing more effectively with invasive species,
especially by preventing their introduction to alien-free islands and habitats, must be a
major goal of the CEPF investment strategy. Implementation of this strategic direction
will be performed in close collaboration with a number of regional initiatives including
the GEF-funded Pacific Invasive Species Management Program, the IUCN Invasive
Species Specialist Group’s (ISSG) Cooperative Initiative on Invasive Alien Species on
Islands, the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project, SPREP’s Invasive Species
program, and others. The Cooperative Islands Initiative and other ISSG activities provide
baseline support for the CEPF program.
1.1 Strengthen defences against the introduction and spread of invasive species and pathogens that threaten biodiversity Preventing the introduction of new invasive species is the ideal practice for vulnerable
island ecosystems, followed by eradication and then control of invasives (Sherley and
Lowe 2000). Prevention requires strong, well-resourced quarantine systems that are the
responsibility of governments. Currently, few countries and territories have developed
adequate guarantee systems to defend themselves from invasive organisms, but efforts
are underway in most places, with international support, to improve official enforcement,
staff, and infrastructure.
The role of civil society organizations will be to foster improved legislation as well as
public support for and participation in surveillance and monitoring programs.
1.2 Control or eradicate invasive species in key biodiversity areas particularly where they threaten native species with extinction Many of the invasive species in the hotspot are on the IUCN’s list of 100 of the world’s
worst invasive species (ISSG, n.d). It is impossible to control or remove all these alien
invasive species from native ecosystems; there are simply far too many invasives and
they are far too well established and distributed. However, projects should be developed
in key biodiversity sites that target particularly serious invasive pests and pathogens.
CEPF’s experience in managing pilot efforts supported by the Australian government’s
Regional Natural Heritage Program developed thorough eradication plans and provided a
strong foundation for replication and other future activities because of extensive
community involvement. Control programs that also provide local benefits are likely to
enjoy community support and to be most effective.
1.3 Provide training in management techniques and develop rapid response capacity against particularly serious invasive species Best available information and training are required to improve policy, legislation and
implementation procedures against invasive species. There is a particular need for more
information on the distribution and impact of invasive species in sensitive sites and the
identification of alien-free habitats. Surveys to establish where invasive alien species
occur, covering all taxa in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, are a priority.
Management training is also required on the tools and techniques for dealing with
invasive species such as techniques for the early detection of new invasions and the
assessment of risk for species proposed for import (Sherley and Lowe 2000).
Strategic Direction 2: Strengthen the conservation status and management of 60 key biodiversity areas The conservation of key biodiversity sites and landscapes, even those that are nominally
already protected, must be improved. The Pacific experience indicates that the
governance model that is most likely to succeed are co-managed sites where local
communities are intimately involved in the establishment and management of such areas.
Investment priorities that will be supported by CEPF include the development of new
protected areas to conserve priority sites; improvement in the management of existing
protected areas that are priority sites; and support for studies and information sharing
research that will provide information to improve site management.
2.1 Develop and manage conservation areas that conserve unprotected priority sites, especially critical refugia such as large forest blocks and alien-free habitats The development and management of ecologically viable and representative conservation
areas is a major component of conservation strategies such as National Biodiversity
Strategy and Action Plans for many countries in the hotspot. Such conservation areas are
likely to be a mixture of a varied governance types depending on local circumstances.
Emphasis should be given to the conservation of refugia such as the larger and more
remote forest blocks and alien free habitats, which appear to have the best potential for
2.2 Improve the management of existing protected areas that are priority sites Many existing protected areas suffer from a lack of sound management, including
adequate protection from poachers and other threats such as habitat degradation and
invasive species. This is often a result of poor financial support and possibly the
application of an inappropriate governance regime. The management effectiveness of
these areas can be strengthened by improved resourcing and training of managers and by
improving the relationship with, and commitment to conservation by, local communities.
Strategic Direction 3: Build awareness and participation of local leaders and community members in the implementation of protection and recovery plans for threatened species The investment priority that forms the focus of this strategic direction is to develop and
implement species recovery plans for the prioritized set of threatened species, especially
the Critically Endangered species needing special attention in addition to conserving their
habitat. In keeping with CEPF’s global program the emphasis of this strategy will be on
civil society and local community participation in such plans.
3.1 Develop and implement species recovery plans for highly threatened species requiring species-focused action, especially those that have received little effort to date Species recovery plans are particularly needed for Critically Endangered species that
require species-focused action, such as the control of harvesting, or dealing with threats
such as invasive species. Emphasis should be placed on the species that have received
little attention to date, such as some of the endemic land snails (especially Partula spp.),
flying foxes (especially Pteropus spp.), and insectivorous bats and restricted range plants.
Recovery plans must spell out the specific management measures required to conserve
the species such as the establishment of reserves, the control of threats like habitat
degradation, invasive species or hunting, along with the research needs. Most
importantly, activities and overall support will be tailored to ensure implementation of
the recovery plans.
3.2 Strengthen leadership and effectiveness of local conservation organizations by developing peer-learning networks and promoting exchanges and study tours A key way to strengthen the leadership of local conservation organizations is to develop
peer-learning networks. These networks will often include government officials to build
and strengthen the mutual understanding and trust that is critical to successful
collaboration on conservation goals. Peer learning networks can assist conservation
professionals to share successes and lessons learned, identify and address shared needs
for technical assistance, training and other support and to collaborate together on local
and national issues effectively. This investment priority should also include the
publication of literature on conservation lessons learned and on the region’s environment,
written in English and local languages and at varied levels.
3.3 Raise the environmental awareness of communities about species and sites of global conservation concern through social marketing and participatory planning and management approaches Few people in the hotspot are sufficiently aware of the uniqueness of the biodiversity of
the hotspot, the severity of threats to it, and the significance of the biodiversity in
maintaining the healthy structure and function of island ecosystems. Such awareness
must be raised if biodiversity is to be valued properly by communities and their
governments, and thereby adequately conserved. The most effective way of raising this
awareness is through participatory planning and management approaches which provide
information to communities to assist them to make better management decisions. The use
of social marketing tools, where the goal is to elicit behavioral change rather than simply
raising awareness, may be a useful approach for increasing political and social will to
Strategic Direction 4: Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of CEPF investment through a regional implementation team An independent evaluation of the global CEPF program found that CEPF regional
implementation teams are particularly effective with the support of the CEPF grant
directors in linking the key elements of comprehensive, vertically integrated portfolios
such as large anchor projects, smaller grassroots activities, policy initiatives,
governmental collaboration, and sustainable financing. As recommended by the
evaluators, the responsibilities of these teams, formerly known as coordination units,
have now been standardized to capture the most important aspects of their function.
In every hotspot, CEPF will support a regional implementation team to convert the plans
in the ecosystem profile into a cohesive portfolio of grants that exceed in impact the sum
of their parts. Each regional implementation team will consist of one or more civil society
organizations active in conservation in the region. For example, a team could be a
partnership of civil society groups or could be a lead organization with a formal plan to
engage others in overseeing implementation, such as through an inclusive advisory
The regional implementation team will be selected by the CEPF Donor Council based on
an approved terms of reference, competitive process, and selection criteria available at
. The team will operate in a transparent and open manner, consistent with
the CEPF mission and all provisions of the CEPF Operational Manual. Organizations that
are members of the Regional Implementation Team will not be eligible to apply for other
CEPF grants within the same hotspot. Applications from formal affiliates of those
organizations that have an independent operating board of directors will be accepted, and
subject to additional external review.
4.1 Build a broad constituency of civil society groups working across institutional and political boundaries toward achieving the shared conservation goals described in the ecosystem profile The regional implementation team will provide strategic leadership and local knowledge
to build a broad constituency of civil society groups working across institutional and
geographic boundaries toward achieving the conservation goals described in the
ecosystem profile. The team’s major functions and specific activities will be based on an
approved terms of reference. Major functions of the team will be to:
Act as an extension service to assist civil society groups in designing,
implementing, and replicating successful conservation activities.
Review all grant applications and manage external reviews with technical experts
and advisory committees.
Award grants up to $20,000 and decide jointly with the CEPF Secretariat on all
Lead the monitoring and evaluation of individual projects using standard tools,
site visits, and meetings with grantees, and assist the CEPF Secretariat in
portfolio-level monitoring and evaluation.
Widely communicate CEPF objectives, opportunities to apply for grants, lessons
learned, and results.
Involve the existing regional program of the RIT, CEPF donor and implementing
agency representatives, government officials, and other sectors within the hotspot
Ensure effective coordination with the CEPF Secretariat on all aspects of
Specific activities and further details are available in the CEPF Regional Implementation
Team Terms of Reference and Selection Process.
Sustainability Use of natural resources is basic to every economic system, and the connection of natural
ecosystems to human livelihoods is particularly immediate in rural areas. Substantial
investments that are designed and adopted in distant capital cities without local
participation are frequently inappropriate for local realities and are regularly thwarted,
either by physical conditions or by human resistance. Without costly and inefficient
enforcement, plans emanating from national and international agencies that do not have
local understanding and support invite failure.
A fundamental assumption and raison d’etre for CEPF is that civil society commitment
to conservation and sustainable development programs is necessary for them to work as
planned. Experience over many years has demonstrated that top-down public sector
initiatives by themselves are unlikely either to be effective or to endure. By engaging
civil society in partnerships with governments and business firms, CEPF is intended to
improve the potential for sustainable effects following from the much larger investments
made by public and private organizations.
In the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot, the sustainability of programs intended to improve
the living conditions of rural and low-income people faces the particular challenges of
political fragmentation among the many independent governments of small island states
and the vast expanse of ocean that separates them. Regional structures clearly are
necessary, but they are inherently fragile and are subject to substantial inertia and
centrifugal force. Differences among people living on small islands are often exaggerated
and their similarities or shared problems are often minimized. These high hurdles will
lead CEPF to reinforce sub-regional links, where habits of cooperation are already
present (such as in Micronesia), at the same time that it supports region-wide projects and
partnerships that are needed to respond to large-scale threats (such as invasive species). A
tight fabric of civil society partnerships at varied scales is needed to increase the prospect
of efforts to conserve threatened ecosystems in the Pacific being maintained independent
of future financing from CEPF and other international donors.
CONCLUSION The value, uniqueness, and vulnerability of the terrestrial biodiversity of the Polynesia-
Micronesia Hotspot are well recognized. The species and ecosystems of the hotspot are
among the most highly threatened in the world and yet terrestrial conservation activities
are severely under-funded and our biological knowledge of the hotspot is incomplete and
poorly managed. There are significant opportunities for CEPF to fund actions that
empower the stewards of the biodiversity of the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot - the
island communities and institutions - to conserve biodiversity (especially those species
and sites that are globally threatened) more effectively. Since Pacific communities are
still highly dependent on biological resources for survival, the achievement of
biodiversity conservation objectives is essential for sustaining human livelihoods as well
as for the maintenance of essential ecosystem functions.
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THE TEXT AusAID
Australian Agency for International Development
Brigham Young University
Center for Applied Biodiversity Science
Community Based Conservation Area
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
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Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands CROP
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Environmental Vulnerability Index
Food and Agriculture Organization
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Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International
Global Environment Facility
Geographical Information System
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Aid)
Important Bird Areas
The World Conservation Union
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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Specialist Group (of IUCN)
Strategy and Action Plan
National Capacity Self Assessment
National Environmental Management Strategy
New Zealand Agency for International Development
Biodiversity Transect Network
Pacific Basin Information Node
Pacific Island Country or Territory
Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk Project
Secretariat for the Pacific Community
South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission
South Pacific Regional Environment Program
United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification
United Nations Development Program
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
University of the South Pacific
United States Agency for International Development
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