Conserving our sea of islands: State of protected and conserved areas in Oceania: Chapter 2: Coverage and Connectivity

Heather Bingham, Vai Jungblut, Paul Van Nimwegen, Bastian Bertzky, Lucy Bastin, Hans Wendt, Fiona Leverington (Editor), Stacey Jupiter (Editor), Marc Hockings (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The countries and territories of Oceania have
increasingly recognised the need to dedicate
areas for protection and management, and have
organised and coordinated themselves to fulfil
this goal. Notably, the Micronesia Challenge is a
commitment by three states (the Federated States
of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands
and Palau), together with the territories of Guam
and Northern Mariana Islands, to preserve the
natural resources that are crucial to the survival of
Oceania’s traditions, cultures and livelihoods. The
goal of the Challenge is to “effectively conserve
at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources
and 20% of the terrestrial resources across
Micronesia by 2020” (Micronesia Challenge,
2020). The Micronesia Challenge has been widely
commended and set an unprecedented example
of collaborative, sustainable marine and terrestrial
conservation for the international community.
Furthermore, the Cook Islands, New Caledonia,
Pitcairn Islands and Palau have placed all or
most of their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)
under some level of protection (UNEP-WCMC &
IUCN, 2021a).
The region’s ambitions are not limited to the marine
realm. For example, as the largest land mass in the
region, Papua New Guinea has made commitments
to conserve its biodiversity for the benefit of nature
and people. In addition to coverage targets, these
commitments take into account representativeness
(with a goal of capturing 80% of all identified
vegetation types and landforms in protected areas
by 2025), and coverage of threatened species’
ranges (with a goal of protecting 30% of the
range of all rare, threatened and restricted-range
species by 2025). These commitments have been
made while recognising the historic and ongoing
leadership of local communities in managing the
country’s biodiversity, and with consideration of
the need to respect customary land ownership
(Independent State of Papua New Guinea, 2014).
They are underpinned by international agreements
such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and
the Sustainable Development Goals, as described
earlier in this report.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGland, Switzerland
Commissioning bodyIUCN
Number of pages272
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-8317-2214-6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022
EventPacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- Nadi, Fiji
Duration: 17 Oct 202221 Oct 2022


  • Conservation
  • Protected areas
  • Protected area management
  • Management
  • Other effective area-based conservation measure (OECM)
  • Capacity building
  • Indigenous people


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