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Country-Based Protected Area Partnerships

Country-based and locally-based protected area partnerships are gradually becoming more wide-spread throughout the Pacific Islands. This is partly due to the successful work of the Locally Managed Marine Area Network (LMMA) which now has networks in Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Palau and Pohnpei. In addition to these arms of the LMMA network, several countries have developed their own community-based organisations to manage other local networks. For example, Palau has its own network of protected areas that includes terrestrial and marine areas and has been established by national law. There are also larger networks such as the French MPA Network and the U.S. system of MPAs that extend into the Pacific Islands.
Below you can find descriptions of the key country-based networks and partnerships working specifically on protected areas (including LMMAs). However, there are also a number of other networks and partnerships that provide conservation and technical assistance in various forms. See below for more information on these.

American Samoa - Natural History Guide to American Samoa

American Samoa - Natural History Guide to American Samoa

This booklet is the collected writings of 30 authors whose first-hand knowledge of American Samoan resources is a distinguishing feature of the articles. Their contributions are greatly appreciated. 

Assessment of management effectiveness for Papua New Guinea's protected areas : 2017

This is the final report prepared by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) for submission to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Papua New Guinea Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) in relation to the 2016-17 assessment of the management effectiveness of Papua New Guinea's protected areas. All the 57 gazetted protected areas in PNG are covered in this report, along with one proposed protected area that is in the process of gazettal.

Belau Locally Managed Area Network (BLMA)

Since 2002, the Helen Reef Resource Management Project in Palau has been active in Locally-Managed Marine Area (LMMA) Network activities. In 2008, the Palau LMMA Network changed its name to the Belau Locally Managed Area Network (BLMA) in order to reflect the terrestrial efforts of its members as well and to use the traditional name.

Celebrating island biodiversity achievements in the Pacific : case studies from the Regional GEF-PAS Integrated Island Biodiversity Project

This inspiring collection of case studies tells the story of how four Pacific island countries are managing their island biodiversity in an integrated manner through the assistance of the UNEP Global Environment Facility's Pacific Alliance for Sustainability (GEF-PAS) project. This project has created a lasting legacy for others to scale up and replicate as we continue to work together as a region to protect and sustainably use our island biodiversity to sustain environmental, economic and human well-being of our Pacific peoples well into the future.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO): Oceans and Atmosphere

Delivering globally consistent and authoritative information and services that enable Australian governments, industries and communities to predict and respond to weather, climate and ocean variability and change, and extreme events.


Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP)

CSP aims to increase community involvement in the conservation and management of Pohnpei's natural resources; to build local capacity through public and private partnerships; to develop alternatives to unsustainable practices; and to promote law and policies that support these objectives.

CSP's vision is to live in a safe and clean environment where cultural pride and natural resources are protected, preserved, and balanced with sustainable development.  Their mission is to preserve and enhance the natural heritage of Pohnpei State by promoting community-led resource management and sustainable development.

“Contribution of Marine Conservation Agreements to Biodiversity Protection, Fisheries Management and Sustainable Financing in Fiji.”

The report documents the degree and scale to which Marine Conservation Agreements (MCAs) are being used in coastal waters in Fiji. The study focuses on partnerships involving local communities and the tourism sector. The study documented tourism-related MCAs included an estimated 266.25 km2 (26,625 ha) of MPAs, of which 210 km2 (21,000 ha) comprised deep water and offshore reefs within two large no-take reserves (Namena Marine Reserve and Vatu-i-Ra Conservation Park), and the remaining 56.25 km2 (5,625 ha) comprised mostly shallow fringing reefs and slopes. The report highlights there are many more MPAs out there (especially informal ones), that are probably not being recognized or included in our national accounting and reporting.

Cook Islands - Biodiversity & Natural Heritage

Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area (FLMMA)

The FLMMA Network was the first country-level network to operate independently of the overall LMMA Network. The FLMMA approach, which works to promote and encourage the preservation, protection and sustainable use of marine resources by the resource owners, has been formally adopted by the Fiji Government. The network has worked to help bring back traditional management practices and the state Government is now in the process of transferring ownership of coastal areas and resources back to traditional land-owning clans.

Fiji - Nakauvadra community based reforestation project - PDD (2013)

The Nakauvadra Community Based Reforestation Project in Fiji has been developed by Conservation International (CI), and funded through the support of FIJI Water. The project is located on the northern tip of Viti Levu in the Province of Ra. It is comprised of 1,135 ha of reforestation plots along the Southern and Northern slopes of the Nakauvadra Range, a 11,387 ha forest refuge that has been designated as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) and is earmarked as a priority site in Fiji’s proposed protected area network.

Fiji - Sovi Basin Protected Area

The Sovi Basin is Fiji’s largest remaining undisturbed lowland forest, providing fresh water to tens of thousands of people. The Sovi Basin is located on t​he island of Viti Levu, which is home to 590,000 people -  more than 70% of Fiji’s population. In recent years, the Sovi Basin has been under extreme threat from logging and agricultural land conversion. The loss of Fiji’s essential natural capital to logging and other pressures threatens its economy, people’s livelihoods and local culture.The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) sub-regional profile analysis for Fiji classified the Sovi Basin as the highest priority landscape conservation outcome for Fiji. 






French national strategy for marine protected areas: Implementation and impact

French Polynesia

The Agence des Aires Marines Protégées is a public administrative body established in 2006.  It is mainly responsible for establishing and managing a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in French waters.

To fulfil this role, the agency has completed a strategic regional analysis to locate and qualify the issues facing the marine environment in various regions.  It then proposes the establishment of MPAs and management strategies suited to each marine region.

They play a supporting role for local authorities to create protected or managed marine areas in New Caledonia and French Polynesia.




The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has expanded access to information on multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) through the online portal, InforMEA, which houses information on more than 60 treaties, 10,000 conference of the parties (COP) decisions, 5,000 national reports, 500 national plans, 3,700 national contacts, 3,000 websites and over 500 searchable terms.

Kolombangara Island Biodiverstiy Conservation Association (KIBCA)

KIBCA’S overall objective is to protect Kolombangara Islands’ rich marine and forest biodiversity and to educate, promote and encourage sustainable management of natural resources through viable economic and social ventures for our communities.

Lagoons of New Caledonia

In 2008, UNESCO listed New Caledonia Barrier Reef on the World Heritage List under the name The Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems. The Lagoons were listed under three UNESCO categories:

Superlative natural Phenomena or natural beauty Ongoing Biological and ecological processes Biological Diversity and threatened species.

There are six marine clusters at the site which are protected by marine and terrestrial buffer zones that are not part of the World Heritage Site. 

Large Scale Marine Protected Areas - Guidelines for design and management

IUCN-WCPA’s Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines are the world’s authoritative resource for protected area managers. Involving collaboration among specialist practitioners dedicated to supporting better implementation of ideas in the field, the Guidelines distil learning and advice drawn from across IUCN. Applied in the field, they build institutional and individual capacity to manage protected area systems effectively, equitably and sustainably, and to cope with the myriad of challenges faced in practice. The Guidelines also assist national governments, protected area agencies, non-governmental organisations, communities and private sector partners in meeting their commitments and goals, and especially the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas....

Lessons learned from five years of nature conservation and development in South Pacific Islands

This publication presents condensed “Lessons Learned” from five years implementation of a project across four countries in the South Pacific Island Region (Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and Nuie) aimed at strengthening biodiversity conservation and reduction of forest and land degradation.  Developing new protected areas to contribute to the achievement of Aichi target 11 and enhancing sustainable livelihoods of local communities living in and around existing or potential protected areas was a central objective. The publication shares the experiences of working with a range of stakeholders whilst implementing this project within the South Pacific Islands' socio-economic and cultural/traditional context.

Natural Resources Development Foundation, Solomon Islands (NRDF)

 NRDF is a local organization which was established in 2003 to address the problem of the ongoing exploitation of forests resources by foreign logging companies.  NRDF is a Solomon Islands NGO committed to promoting and supporting sustainable natural resource management by local landowners, in turn protecting social, economic and environmental assets. 

New Caledonia at the Heart of Oceania

New Caledonia - Creation of the Coral Sea natural park

New Caledonia - Guide des institutions de la Nouvelle-Calédonie 2015

New Caledonia - Ressources marines de la Nouvelle-Calédonie Programme ZoNéCo 2000-2005 : Bilan et Perspectives

Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area Network (Vanuatu) and Vanuatu Village-based Resource Managed Areas Network (VBRMA)

Nguna-Pele marine protected area (MPA) Network is a local, indigenous NGO made up of 16 communities on two islands.  The network is dedicated to the sustainable use and long-term existence of marine and terrestrial resources. It is the first of its kind in Vanuatu and currently serves as a model for other island-initiated conservation efforts nationally and throughout the South Pacific. Nguna and Pele's managed reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove forests and intertidal lagoons now exceed 3,000 hectares. The network relies financially on donations from visitors.

Oeil - Observatoire de l'environnement, Nouvelle-Calédonie

OEIL respods to numerous questions about the impact of human, industrial and mining activities on the environment.

Pacific Island Conservation Initiative (PICI, Cook Islands)

The vision of PICI is to work in the Pacific, alongside the people and communities that have inhabited these remote islands for so long, working to assist in the understanding of the environment, the protection of vulnerable species and the preservation of habitat, so these remote islands can remain a very special place for people and nature.  The PICI mission is to develop a society that works in the tropical pacific to preserve species, habitats and communities through the provision of sound science, establishment of programmes and advocating for legislative protection.

Palau Conservation Society (PCS)

With a vision of "Healthy Ecosystems for a Healthy Palau", the Palau Conservation Society works to empower communities to steward Palau’s environment. The Society's mission is "to work with the community to preserve the nation’s unique natural environment and perpetuate its conservation ethic for the economic and social benefit of present and future generations of Palauans and for the enjoyment and education of all.

Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN)

The Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN) was established by national law in 2003, establishing a framework for a national system of protected areas. State, community, and private protected areas may apply for membership which enables access to technical resources, participation in a national monitoring system, and eligibility for national funding. PAN member sites must have a management plan that meets specific criteria to access PAN funds. In return, states and communities owning PAN member sites agree to effectively conserve the natural resources in the protected areas.

Papua New Guinea Centre for Locally Managed Areas, Inc. (PNGCLMA)

The Papua New Guinea LMMA Network was formed in 2002 and launched officially in 2003. Following six years under the support and guidance of the LMMA network with The Nature Conservancy as their partner, PNG created an independent not-for-profit organization to manage the network. In 2009, the PNG Centre for Locally Managed Areas, Inc. (PNGCLMA) was born and operates as an independent arm of the regional LMMA Network.

Their mission is to empower local communities to achieve their marine resource management goals by building their capacity in key LMMA management skills, providing a vehicle for sharing their stories and lessons, and supporting the establishment of key partnerships.

Papua New Guinea - Conservation Initiatives

Conservation International

For nearly 20 years, CI has worked with communities, governments, industries and agencies throughout Papua New Guinea to develop innovative conservation of important species and ecosystems. We have also worked with local communities and r

Papua New Guinea - Government Documents Related to Conservation

Papua New Guinea - Legislation Related to Conservation

Papua New Guinea - Natural Resource Agencies

Papua New Guinea - Reports and Papers Related to Conservation and Protected Areas

Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA)

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Kiribati, just five degrees south of the equator. PIPA is the world’s first large, truly deep water MPA. As a vast expanse of largely pristine mid-ocean environments, PIPA is truly an oceanic wilderness. Encompassing 408,250 square kilometers (157,626 square miles) and 11% of Kiribati’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), PIPA represents one of Earth’s last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems.

Pohnpei Locally Managed Marine Area Network and Pohnpei MPA Network

The Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) joined the LMMA Network in 2002. They designated their first pilot site (Nahtik) in 2003 and since then, LMMA project liaisons have been assisting the community with their conceptual model, monitoring plan, and skills training.

Pohnpei’s LMMA Network also works closely with the Pohnpei MPA Network, whose partners include local governments, College of Micronesia-Federated States of Micronesia, Peace Corps, Pohnpei State Marine Resources and Department of Land and Natural Resources.

In 2009, the first Pohnpei MPA Network Executive Committee was formed. This eight person committee will monitor network management and seek to increase community partnership.

PROTECTED AREAS: challenges and responses for the coming decade

This is the first of a new series of dialogues from Equilibrium Research, in light of current opportunities and pressures on protected areas, building up to the revision of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s biodiversity targets in 2020, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and wider patterns of economic and social development. The views are those of the authors and represent no other organisation or institution.

Dialogues are not referenced for reasons of space; key sources are available on request. The ideas outlined here build on our research since our founding in 1991, and in conversations and interaction with people throughout the world.

Ramsar Sites Management Toolkit

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has compiled a new toolkit for site managers. This toolkit was designed to provide simple guidance to site managers on the key steps and components involved in managing a Ramsar Site. It also identifies and provides links to more detailed information on each of those steps, including key non-Ramsar publications where appropriate. The toolkit was developed by the Scientific Technical Review Panel and will be continuously updated with new resources.

The toolkit is divided into four sections:

1. Describing the site

2. Planning

3. Management and monitoring

4. Periodic evaluation and review


Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Key Biodiversity Areas: Falealupo Peninsula Coastal Rainforest, Central Savai’i Rainforest, and Uafato-Tiavea Coastal Rainforest, Samoa

This Biodiversity survey was coordinated and implemented by Conservation International staff and partners, through contract by the Samoan Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE), with funding support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) via the United Nations Development Programme (Apia Office). This project funding was to support the “Strengthening multi-sectoral management of critical landscape” (SMSMCL) project being implemented by MNRE. It involved a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and local staff with significant support of local field guides and trail cutters from the surveyed villages.

Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership (SICCP)

The mission of SICCP to bridge local conservation, sustainable development, and resource management efforts with broader national and international initiatives to ensure financial sustainability and sound stewardship of the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Solomon Islands.

The mission is guided by the following values and beliefs:

Solomon Islands Dolphin Project

Solomon Islands Partners

Solomon Islands - Towards Integrated National Ocean Policy in the South Pacific Competing and Conflicting Issues in Ocean Policy

Sustainable livelihood strategies for conservation of biodiversity in Fiji, including potential crops and value adding opportunities in three FPAM project sites.

FAO’s project “Forestry and Protected Area Management” (FPAM) assists four countries, Fiji, Niue,Samoa and Vanuatu, with the goal of strengthening biodiversity conservation and the reduction of
forest and land degradation. The project’s development objective is to enhance the sustainablelivelihoods of local communities living in and around protected areas.

The PNG-METT: A method for assessing effectiveness in Papua New Guinea’s protected areas, August 2017

In 2015–2017, the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG), through its Conservation and Environmental Protection Authority (CEPA) and with the support of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), organised an evaluation of its protected areas, as part of the process to improve management effectiveness. PNG’s Policy on Protected Areas commits to regular evaluation of management effectiveness and to taking remedial action to improve effectiveness over time. ‘Management effectiveness of Protected Areas will be regularly evaluated on a national basis, and improvements will be put into place based on assessment results.

Tonga - Vava'u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA)

Vava'u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA)

Our mission:

Vava'u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA) is dedicated to the conservation of Vava'u's natural beauty through educational awareness, sustainable development and collaboration.

Taumu'a ngaue:

Ko e Malu'i pe Tauhi ko ia 'o e 'Atakai 'o Vava'u pe koe VEPA 'oku nau ngaue ki hono tauhi 'o e faka'ofo'ofa mo e ma'a 'o Vava'u 'i he fakahoko 'o e ngaahi ako ki he ngaahi founga hono tokanga'i, feinga ke fakalakalaka, pea mo e fengaue'aki fakataha foki 'a e ngaahi kautaha kotoa pe ki he ngaahi ngaue 'oku fiema'u ke fakahoko.


United States of America - NOAA

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Marine Protected Area Center

The National Marine Protected Area Center was established in 2000 to lead the development of a national system of marine protected areas in the USA, as called for in Executive Order 13158.  The MPA Center is a partnership between NOAA and the Department of the Interior to serve as a resource to all federal, state, territorial and tribal programs responsible for the health of the nation's oceans, and is located within NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

United States of America - Other Federal Agencies

The U.S. Coast Guard carries out missions to enforce marine protected areas, laws against marine pollution, exclusive economic zones (EEZ; largest EEZ in the world), and to protect marine species.  The United States manages marine reserves as large or larger than those of other nations, including Pacific Island countries and territories.  What can we learn from them?  Marine Protected Areas are increasing in the Pacific.  What resources are required to patrol such vast areas?

Wallis et Futuna - Service de l'Environnement

Wallis et Futuna - Service de l'Environnement

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you got started in MPAs? Insights from practitioners

In the 18 years that MPA News has been in publication, we have asked practitioners for lessons learned, and practices developed. We have published numerous tips on how to work more efficiently or effectively. But we have not asked you for the most fundamental, essential advice you have gained from your work. We do make that request this month, and we’ll continue to do so in future issues. We are asking practitioners: What do you know now that you wish you had known when you got started in the MPA field?