Island Ecosystems, Local Livelihoods - Combating Invasive Alien Species in the Pacific for the benefit of Biodiversity and People

Donor: European Commission

Project Impact: This project is strengthening the capacity of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and European Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) to achieve their commitments in terms of environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation. More specifically, the project is reducing the spread and the environmental and socio-economic impact of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) through the development of replicable models which support the eradication and control of IAS and enhancement of biosecurity.

Overview: After a series of successful invasive species eradication and island restoration projects in Fiji and the Pacific, the BirdLife Pacific Partnership commenced its largest ever Regional Invasive Species Programme in July 2010.

This programme involves Te Ipukerea Society (BirdLife in the Cook Islands), Palau Conservation Society (BirdLife in Palau), NatureFiji-MareqetiViti (BirdLife in Fiji), Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie (BirdLife in French Polynesia), and Société Calédonienne d'Ornithologie (BirdLife in New Caledonia).

The programme is developing three models of eradication, control and biosecurity – all with a local community focus – by:

  1. Enhancing their capacities for collective action to address environmental & social problems
  2. Reducing the adverse impacts of IAS on food production, human health and other socio-economic aspects
  3. Improving rural livelihoods through income generation by agriculture, ecotourism, deer and pig hunting, and employment opportunities during and after this action, and
  4. Maintaining co-evolved biodiversity/ecosystem processes and resilience against extreme environmental events

The programme is supported by a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) which includes the Pacific Invasives Initiative (PII), the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, University of the South Pacific, NZ Landcare Research and the NZ Department of Conservation. Together, the TAG and the participating BirdLife Partners have identified the capacity, research, and monitoring needs for the Programme and among the research opportunities is support for a post graduate student to examine the social, economic and or biological impact of managing invasive alien species or related element of the programme.

Project Launch Video: