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Conservation in tropical Pacific Island countries: why most current approaches are failing

Keppel, Gunnar, Morrison, Clare, Watling, Dick, Tuiwawa, Marika V., Rounds, Isaac A.
Conservation letters 2012 v.5 no.4 pp. 256-265
biodiversity, conservation programs, cultural differences, developed countries, funding, information exchange, landowners, psychosocial factors, stakeholders
The independent island nations of the South Pacific have a rich and threatened terrestrial biota. Despite considerable investment of resources into conservation over the last three decades, biodiversity is dwindling and protected area systems remain inadequate. This lack of success is caused by important differences in cultural, economic, landownership, and social factors in developing Pacific Island countries, compared to developed nations that often fund conservation programs and plans. Despite the obvious need for capacity building and information exchange among stakeholders, little collaboration and development has eventuated. A coordinated and integrated approach, focusing conservation resources on national priorities, is essential to achieve efficient conservation. This will need to include active involvement of landowners, a good sociocultural understanding of target communities, improved collaboration between the various stakeholders, provision of sustainable alternative economic activities, and a commitment to long funding cycles for projects.