East Pacific hub. An area larger than continental Europe with over 120 islands and 20% of the world s atolls on the front line of climate change

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1 2 entities (FR / EN ) An area larger than continental Europe with over 120 islands and 20% of the world s atolls on the front line of climate change Results from ecosystem profiling in French Polynesia and the Pitcairn Islands Flora ARTZNER, Aurélie BOCQUET UICN Comité Français Pacific

2 Context - Marine territory as big as mainland Europe (5 million km²) 118 islands in 5 groups (Society, Marquesas, Austral, Gambier and Tuamotu) Map of Europe mainland area and (FP) territory < 300,000 inhabitants, 70% on Tahiti

3 Context - Main income sources: Tourism Black pearl production Fishing Environmental trends: Increasing number of MPAs but management challenging Pollution from increasing urbanization Hotel in a lagoon of FP

4 Biological importance of the region Remarkably rich in species due to isolation Coral reef (12,800 km²) 170 species - 18 endemic Ecosystem services: coastal protection, tourism, fishing, pearl industry Marine species ~ 5000 species recorded Deep ecosystems still mostly unknown Coral reef diversity Group # Species Endemism rate Molluscs ~ to 20% Fishes ~ 1200 ~ 5% Crustaceans ~ Mammals Turtles 5 -

5 Biological importance of the region Main terrestrial biodiversity in high islands (rainforest, wet areas, sub alpine & altitude forest) Te Mehani, Raiatea Altitude forest («cloud forest») Highest concentration of endemic and threatened species Ecosystem services (fresh water sources, East ) Pacific hub Local endemic species: Monarque - bird only found in 2 valleys on Tahiti Moorea Island Groups Terrestrial gasteropode (snails + slugs) # Species Endemism rate 525 ~95% Terestrial birds 64 86% Vascular flora ~ % Fresh water fishes 37 Bugs % Up to 100% (some families)

6 Threats and pressures on biodiversity 175 endangered species (according to IUCN Red List) incl. 47 plants + 31 birds Invasive alien species (IAS), human activity (infrastructure development, coastal water pollution), economic activities East (tourism, Pacific hub fishing ), climate change Miconia invasive tree covers about 2/3 of Tahiti island direct threat to70 endemic Tahiti plant species Miconia invasive species

7 Methodology : Key biodiversity areas (KBAs) Several data sources: Important areas for birds (21 ZICO including 7 AZE) Papers related to protected areas and / or management for conservation Recent studies on important sites of marine and terrestrial biodiversity Identification of the most relevant criteria for FP territory: Biological importance of the area, threats, area management facility Local consultations: Bilateral consultations: local institutions, environment specialist, NGO s Workshops Survey sent to all identified stakeholders Database created with all the information, available to stakeholders (ecosystem profile) Analysis of results and validation by local conservation experts Final KBAs detailed and mapped in the ecosystem profile 50 KBAs preidentified 25 final KBAs

8 Key biodiversity areas (KBAs) 25 KBAs KBAs names 4 Marine areas 12 Terrestrial areas Tahiti, Raiatea-Tahaa, Eiao-Hatutu, Fakarava atoll group Tahiti (7 areas), Raiatea, Niau, Mohotani, Ua Huka, Rimatara 7 Global (marine + terrestrial) areas Moorea, Rangiroa, Makatea, Tenararo, Nuku Hiva, Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Mangareava, Rapa Tahiti s KBAs FP

9 KBAs map Legend: 200 km FP KBAs

10 Tahiti s KBA map : Key biodiversity areas (KBAs)

11 Current conservation activities Current Regional MPAs (Biosphere Reserve of Fakarava, Scilly and Bellinghausen atolls strict Nature Reserves, Moorea MPA, prohibition on fishing some protected species) 2 programs for MPAs creation (Austral Islands and Marquesas Archipelagos) Examples for specific conservation activities: Protection of natural areas Species conservation Fight against invasive species Integrated coastal areas management Research Awareness raising & environmental education PALIMMA: study on relationship of culture and ocean to create large MPA in Marquesas PUKATAI: creation of 6 educational marine areas managed by local schools Global Ocean Legacy: consultations and evaluation for the creation of large MPAs Partula s programme/picp terrestrial snails BEST project on protection of FP birds: developing management strategy for 32 IBAs Eradication programmes against: Miconia (invasive plants), Fire Ant, Rats RESCUE INTEGRE ( ), 3 areas in French Polynesia (EU funded) Many marine, some terrestrial programs: PACIOCEA (BEST): development of marine spatial planning framework CORAIL (BEST): ES from coral reefs as decision making tools REMMOA: marine species inventory Biocode: genetic barcode species inventory IDEA (Island Digital Ecosystem Avatar): modelling human dependency on biodiversity & ES Different actions by local associations

12 Current conservation investments Public: country, France, EU, regional organisations (SPREP, SPC) Private: Polynesian, French and foreign foundations and businesses often not eligible for international conservation funding programs due to its special political status

13 Conservation priorities & investment niches 7 thematic priorities identified by stakeholders during 2 workshops Investment niches (examples): Improved management of current protected areas and regulation (there are some protected areas but poorly managed mainly due to a lack of financial support) Workshops and brainstormings, Papeete, Tahiti, FP Capacity building and training of local civil society, especially on remote islands (very few environmental associations apply for financial aid)

14 Pitcairn islands: Context 4 UK Pitcairn Islands: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno ~50 km 2 of land area Pitcairn Islands and their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 52 inhabitants Economy depends on annual budgetary aid (UK), small revenue from international trade (handcrafted souvenirs, ) Pitcairn Council - internal affairs Pitcairn islands

15 Biological importance and threats of the region Islands Biological importance Threats Pitcairn Oeno Ducie Hender son 10 endemic plants Important Bird Area (IBA) and marine biodiversity Algal species richness Pristine atoll Relatively limited vascular flora Important Bird Area (IBA) and marine biodiversity Pristine atoll Extremely impoverished vascular East Pacific flora (2 species) hub Important Bird Area (IBA) and marine biodiversity Coral reefs cover 56% UNESCO World Heritage Site Important Bird Area (IBA), and marine biodiversity Coral reefs virtually intact Algal species richness Intense deforestation ( erosion), Spread of invasive species (goats, rats), Climate change effects (corals impacts), Invasive species Climate change effects, Invasive species Climate change effects, Invasive species Pitcairn islands

16 Key biodiversity areas (KBAs) Remote stakeholders consultations through many exchanges and experts consultations All 4 Pitcairn Islands will be considered as Pitcairn KBAs BEST Meeting with A. Shonfield just back in Tahiti from a few months spent in Pitcairn islands studying birds Map of Pitcairn Islands Pitcairn islands

17 Current conservation activities & investments Conservation activities: No regular budgets for the environment but eligible for project funds from the UK for specific initiatives Henderson Island is a World Heritage site since 1998 with a management plan ( ) for raised coral Intention to create a fully protected marine reserve within the Pitcairn Islands EEZ was announced by the UK Government in March 2015 Donors and ongoing programmes and projects: EU, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Project INTEGRE, Darwin Initiative, Pitcairn islands

18 Conservation priorities & investment niches Improve marine research programs Communication with local population and tourists about the environmental importance (now very little information to visitors) Fight against invasive species Fight against marine litter Investment niches under consultation Pitcairn islands

19 & Pitcairn Contact us in the Aurélie BOCQUET BEST III Regional Coordinator Jean KAPE BEST III [East Pacific Hub] Coordinator French committee of IUCN Eleonora AVAGLIANO BEST III [East Pacific Hub] Expert Flora ARTZNER BEST III [East Pacific Hub] Ecosystem profile officer

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