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.

Our Goal

Ensure that ecosystems and species are managed sustainably to support local livelihoods and conservation for the long-term.

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Photo Credit: © David Doubilet/National Geographic Creative

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:

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Photo Credit: © Norbert Wu/Minden Pictures/National Geographic Creative

Why WCS?

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.

Read more:
WCS Fiji
WCS Papua New Guinea
The Sustainable Wildlife Management Programme


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