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Occurrence and abundance of meso and microplastics in sediment, surface waters, and marine biota from the South Pacific region

Data on the occurrence and abundance of meso and microplastics for the South Pacific are limited and there is urgent need to fill this knowledge gap. The main aim of the study was to apply a rapid screening method, based on the fluorescence tagging of polymers using Nile red, to determine the concentration of meso and microplastics in biota, sediment and surface waters near the capital cities of Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. A spatial investigation was carried out for sediment, biota and water as well as a temporal assessment for sediment for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018).

The Power of Three: Coral Reefs, Seagrasses and Mangroves Protect Coastal Regions and Increase Their Resilience

Natural habitats have the ability to protect coastal communities against the impacts of waves and storms, yet it is unclear how different habitats complement each other to reduce those impacts. Here, we investigate the individual and combined coastal protection services supplied by live corals on reefs, seagrass meadows, and mangrove forests during both non-storm and storm conditions, and under present and future sea-level conditions. Using idealized profiles of fringing and barrier reefs, we quantify the services supplied by these habitats using various metrics of inundation and erosion.

Accelerating loss of seagrasses across the globe threatens coastal ecosystems

Coastal ecosystems and the services they provide are adversely affected by a wide variety of human activities. In particular, seagrass meadows are negatively affected by impacts accruing from the billion or more people who live within 50 km of them. Seagrass meadows provide important ecosystem services, including an estimated $1.9 trillion per year in the form of nutrient cycling; an order of magnitude enhancement of coral reef fish productivity; a habitat for thousands of fish, bird, and invertebrate species; and a major food source for endangered dugong, manatee, and green turtle.

Sea Turtles in Oceania MTSG Annual Regional Report 2020

The 2020 IUCN/MTSG Regional Report for Sea Turtles in Oceania was recently finalized and approved. The report consists of 675 pages and was three years in the making.  There are 25 chapters written by 23 dedicated knowledgeable authors and coauthors.  For the purposes of this report, the Oceania Region was organized by the Regional Vice Chairs to contain 25 chapters comprising 15 Sea Turtle Regional Management Units...

Change in Terrestrial Human Footprint Drives Continued Loss of Intact Ecosystems

Human pressure mapping is important for understanding humanity’s role in shaping Earth’s patterns and processes. We provide the latest maps of the terrestrial human footprint and provide an assessment of change in human pressure across Earth. Between 2000 and 2013, 1.9 million km2 of land relatively free of human disturbance became highly modified. Our results show that humanity’s footprint is eroding Earth’s last intact ecosystems and that greater efforts are urgently needed to retain them.

Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 - Summary for Policymakers

Humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy it leaves to future generations. Biodiversity is declining at an unprecedented rate, and the pressures driving this decline are intensifying. None of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets will be fully met, in turn threatening the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and undermining efforts to address climate change.

COVID19 Impacts on Fishing and Coastal Communities:Update #4 Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG), the largest of the Pacific island nations (population 8.9 million), has not been spared from the COVID-19 pandemic. The government declared a State of Emergency in March, closing off international borders and suspending domestic air travel. Schools were closed, non-essential workers requested to stay at home, and travel between provinces limited to cargo, medicine and security personnel.

COVID19 Impacts on Fishing and Coastal Communities:Update #3 Federated States of Micronesia

The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has had far reaching effects across the Pacific, including isolated island nations like the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), population 112,000. The national government closed international borders and state governments imposed a country-wide travel ban, which has been rewarded with no recorded cases of the virus. Knock-on effects have been reported and this survey is intended to gain rapid impressions of these effects from the urban municipalities of Kosrae (popn. 6,600) and the more remote island of Yap (popn.

COVID19 Impacts on Fishing and Coastal Communities:Update #2 - Russell Islands, Solomon Islands

The pandemic caused by the virus, COVID-19 has had wide-ranging effects on coastal and island communities throughout the South Pacific. Solomon Islands has not recorded any cases of COVID-19 but the virus and the closing of international borders have had a trickle-down effect on all aspects of life, ranging from loss of employment to the closing of schools. Staff from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) visited nine coastal communities in the Russell Islands to determine the immediate effects of the COVID-19 situation.