The inaugural Pacific Islands Species Forum was held in Honiara, Solomon Islands in April 2012. It provided the first opportunity for scientists, researchers, policy-makers, and conservation practitioners to come together and share their scientific knowledge and research relating specifically to species conservation in the Pacific.
The Species Forum was structured around 4 themes: Knowledge and Research; Continuing Challenges; Celebrating Success; and The Way Forward, and aimed to meet the following objectives:
• Identify known threatened species and their conservation needs
• Identify major threats acting on such species
• Move towards a process for prioritizing species for future research and conservation action
• Ensure that threatened and priority species, as well as measures to protect them, are included in NBSAPs and other regional plans
Over the three day Species Forum, more than 70 participants shared a diverse range of information on Pacific Island species including data gaps, results of implementation on the ground, lessons learned and the way forward in determining the status of species, their conservation needs and how regional policies can protect them. Species issues were raised beyond the scientific community and gained the attention of politicians, media and the general public on the importance of species to ecosystems.
A set of recommendations for governments and organizations working on species conservation in the Pacific were made by participants of the Species Forum. It is anticipated that these will contribute to national and regional planning, as well as understanding of the Convention on Biological Diversity Aichi Targets. In particular, the recommendations can be used to assist governments in achieving Target 12: By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.
The Forum included presentations, panel discussions, posters and working groups. Abstracts of all presentations on the programme can be downloaded from the Resources page.
The inaugural Pacific Islands Species Forum was made possible through the generous support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, IUCN Oceania, the Fonds Pacifique, and members of the Pacific Islands Round Table for Nature Conservation (most notably Birdlife International, SPREP, USP and CI Pacific). The government of the Solomon Islands generously hosted the meeting.