Melanesia, including Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji, is one of the most biologically and culturally diverse regions on earth—800 distinct languages are spoken in Papau New Guinea alone.
Melanesia's species and ecosystems are fundamentally threatened by rapidly growing and modernizing populations that drive increased demands for natural resource extraction.
Ensure that ecosystems and species are managed sustainably to support local livelihoods and conservation for the long-term.
How Will We Get There?
Despite linguistic and cultural differences, the Melanesian people are united by traditions of land ownership and stewardship over the environment. Today, though, the combination of resource commercialization for global and domestic markets and the loss of traditional knowledge systems has eroded customary management. Meanwhile, poor public sector capacity and high corruption levels have led to weak centralized governance.
In response to these challenges, our strategies are to:
Assist communities and governments in effectively protecting at least six important landscapes and seascapes across Melanesia.
Significantly improve the status of 10 threatened species and species groups, with effective management under local and nationally recognized plans.
Be recognized by Melanesian governments and other NGOs as the premier regional institution to provide evidence-based guidance that informs species conservation and ecosystem protection.
Develop targeted education and awareness programs about human impacts on natural systems and options for management, which will build on Melanesian cultural values of stewardship.
Leverage the resources and strengths from our existing country programs in Fiji and Papua New Guinea to develop new country programs in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
We produce robust scientific and technical guidance for adaptive management and policy development to combat unsustainable resource use and we focus on delivering these messages through community engagement and with cultural respect. We earn trust through long-term commitments and by aligning our strategies with national priorities.
What's at Stake?
75%of coral species
Melanesia forms the core of the Coral Triangle Region, containing an estimated 75% of known coral species and 3,000 species of reef-associated fish.
7%of terrestrial biodiversity
Melanesia hosts one of the largest remaining rainforests in the world in Papua New Guinea, where an estimated 7% of global terrestrial biodiversity occurs in less than 1% of global land area.
he largest study ever conducted of its kind has identified where and how to save coral reef communities in the Indo-Pacific, according to an international group of scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and other conservation NGOs,...
A team of researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and other groups have found that increasing land clearing for logging in Solomon Islands–even with best management strategies in place – will lead...
New York - August 11, 2015 - The Society for Conservation Biology has honored Dr. Stacy Jupiter—Melanesia Program Director for WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)— with its Early Career Conservation Award. The award celebrates the achievements of...