The 4,500 islands of this biodiversity hotspot include Micronesia, tropical Polynesia and Fiji, and are home to more than 3 million people in 20 different countries and territories. Despite its expansive ocean coverage, the land area of the hotspot covers only 46,315 square kilometers or about the size of Switzerland.
The varied lands of this unique region include rain forests, temperate forests, wetlands and savannas. These fragile areas host 476 globally threatened species that are crucial to the natural processes and sustainability of critical ecosystems, as well as the livelihoods of the Pacific islanders.
The natural assets of the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot are among the most threatened in the world, with just 21 percent of the original vegetation remaining intact. About three-fourths of the Endangered species in the hotspot are threatened by invasive animal and plant species.
Socioeconomic changes and population growth in the region have meant more dependence on cash-crop production, increased deforestation, over-harvesting of resources and the use of destructive harvesting techniques. These practices have significantly reduced and degraded existing habitats. The limited land area exacerbates these threats. To date there have been more recorded bird extinctions in this hotspot than any other. In the future, climate change is likely to become a major threat especially for low-lying islands and atolls that could disappear completely.
Our support focuses on conservation initiatives in Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, and Wallis and Futuna.