Pacific Islands
Pacific Islands Forum 2012

 Pacific Islands Leadership Forum

​CI hopes to see further commitment and support for the Pacific Oceanscape and its parts at this year's forum to support a secure future for Pacific Island Nations based on ocean conservation and management.
Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands: 3–6 September 2013

The 44th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting will be held in Majuro, Marshall Islands from 3-6 September 2013. The meeting is based on the theme "Marshalling the Pacific Response to the Climate Challenge."

The Pacific Islands Forum is comprised of Leaders from 16 independent and self-governing Pacific Island nations. Members are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

At this year's Forum, Conservation International anticipates that there will be further commitments towards some of the Pacific Oceanscape's flagship initiatives and a focus on the importance of tuna in the Pacific Ocean.

Conservation International at the Forum

Conservation International (CI) has worked closely with Pacific Islands Leaders, their regional intergovernmental agencies, and civil society to develop the Pacific Oceanscape Framework. Pacific Islands Forum Leaders unanimously endorsed the Framework in 2010 and it is widely recognized as a globally significant ocean initiative.

Under the Pacific Oceanscape we are working towards:

  • Integrated ocean management, including large scale marine protected areas
  • Adaptation to environmental and climate change
  • Liaising, listening, learning and leading — supporting a united voice for our ocean

CI strongly supports country commitments to the Pacific Oceanscape and its flagship programs: the northern Micronesia Challenge​, a shared commitment to conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020, the 408,250 km² Phoenix Islands Protected Area, the world's largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage site, the newly launched 1.2 million km² Cook Islands Marine Park and the announced 1.4 million km² New Caledonia Coral Sea Marine Protected Area. CI also engages at the regional and global levels through communication initiatives — for example the Sony 'Pacific Oceanscape' story telling, regional policy development and initiatives including most recently the World Bank Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO). CI is also an invited participant in the Forum's Marine Sector Working Group, which is charged with ensuring integrated implementation of the Pacific Oceanscape Framework at the regional scale.

Pacific Islands Forum

The Pacific Islands Forum is a political grouping of 16 independent and self-governing states.

Members include Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshal Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

New Caledonia and French Polynesia, previously Forum Observers, were granted Associate Membership in 2006. Forum Observers include Tokelau (2005), Wallis and Futuna (2006), the Commonwealth (2006), the United Nations (2006) the Asian Development Bank (2006), Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (2007), the World Bank (2010), the ACP Group (2011), American Samoa (2011), Guam (2011) and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (2011), with Timor Leste as Special Observer (2002).

The annual Forum meetings are chaired by the Head of Government of the Host Country (currently Cook Islands), who remains as Forum Chair until the next meeting.

LEARN MORE: Pacific Islands Forum Website »

Emmeline Johansen Communications Manager, Conservation International (Pacific Islands Contact)
Kevin Connor Media Manager Office: (703) 341-2405 (Washington, D.C. Contact)

Press Releases

September 3, 2013
Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy give $500,000 Each To Micronesia Challenge

September 3, 2013
Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency receives award for improving Pacific tuna fisheries management

September 4, 2012
Conservation International applauds the historic commitments to Ocean Conservation at Pacific Islands Forum

August 31, 2012
Conservation International Celebrates 'Game-changing' pledge of co-operation between U.S. and Kiribati for ocean protection at Pacific Island Forum

August 29, 2012
New Caledonia declares 1.4 Million Square Kilometer Marine Protected Area to the Pacific Oceanscape

August 24, 2012
43rd annual Pacific Islands Forum Poised to Bring Major Ocean Conservation Commitments

In the News

Annual Pacific Islands Forum poised to bring ocean conservation, Xinhua News

A Sea Change in Ocean Conservation, Huffington Post

South Pacific small island states to link marine resources, The Guardian

Pacific Oceanscape is a World Beater, Radio Australia

Interview with a Drowning President, The Nation

The challenges that await the Pacific in post-Rio, by David Sheppard in Islands Business

Photos available for media use

Please display proper photographer credits when using these photos.

The Pacific Islands

Federated States of Micronesia

Cook Islands Marine Park

Pacific Oceanscape Factsheet

We have depended on the ocean and its resources for millennia. But with declining fishery resources, rising sea levels and warming ocean temperatures, ocean acidification and pollution, the oceans are changing rapidly. 

Cook Islands Marine Park Factsheet

The Cook Islands, a large ocean developing state, yet a small country in the world's eyes, recently committed the largest area in history by a single country for integrated ocean conservation and management.

 Pacific Oceanscape Framework document

Oceania is vast, Oceania is expanding, Oceania is hospitable and generous, Oceania is humanity rising from the depths of brine and regions of fire deeper still, Oceania is us. We are the sea, we are the ocean, we must wake up to this ancient truth

Pacific Islands Program Factsheet

The Pacific Islands and Ocean region is best described as a sea of islands. It covers nearly 40 million km2, more than four times the size of the continental United States, and lies in the heart of the world's largest ocean.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Side event: Pacific Oceanscape Cocktail Evening

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Smaller Islands States Leaders Meeting

Side event: Micronesia Challenge Lunch

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Pacific Islands Forum Formal Session

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Forum Leaders Retreat

Friday, 6 September 2013

25th Post-Forum Dialogue Partners Plenary Session

CI Experts Attending the Pacific Islands Forum
Dr. Gregory Stone
Dr. Gregory Stone contact me
Executive Vice President, The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans
Marine Biologist
Talk to me about: Sustainable Fisheries, Marine Conservation, Ocean Governance, Spatial Planning-Marine Use, Marine Protected Areas, Pacific Islands
Location: U.S. - D.C./Virginia
Languages: English

Republic of the Marshall Islands Government

The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is an island country located in the northern Pacific Ocean. RMI are the hosts of this year's 44th Pacific Islands Forum. They are also member country of the Pacific Islands Forum, have endorsed the Pacific Oceanscape and committed to the Micronesia Challenge.

Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia, with the population of 68,480 people spread out over 34 low-lying coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The islands share maritime boundaries with the Federated States of Micronesia to the west, Kiribati to the south-east, and Nauru to the south. RMI has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 2.1 million square kilometres.


Federated States of Micronesia Government

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is an independent sovereign island nation consisting of four states – from west to east, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae – that are spread across the Western Pacific Ocean. Together, the states comprise around 607 islands (a combined land area of approximately 702 km² (271 sq mi) that cover a longitudinal distance of almost 2,700 km (1,678 mi) just north of the equator. While the FSM's total land area is quite small, it occupies more than 2,600,000 km² (1,000,000 sq mi) of the Pacific Ocean.

FSM are committed to the Micronesia Challenge, have endorsed the Pacific Oceanscape and are a member country of the Pacific Islands Forum.


Republic of Palau Government

Palau is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is geographically part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country's population of around 21,000 is spread across 250 islands forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands. Palau has an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 600,900 square kilometres. The islands share maritime boundaries with Indonesia, Philippines and the Federated States of Micronesia.

Palau is committed to the Micronesia Challenge, has endorsed the Pacific Oceanscape and is a member country of the Pacific Islands Forum.


Cook Islands Government

The Cook Islands is a self-governing parliamentary democracy in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It is composed of 15 small islands whose total land area is 240 square kilometers and EEZ is 1.8 million square-kilometer. The Cook Islands are committed to the Micronesia Challenge, have endorsed the Pacific Oceanscape and are a member country of the Pacific Islands Forum.


Kiribati Government

Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The total land area is 726 square kilometers and EEZ is 3.6 million square-kilometers.

The Pacific Oceanscape was conceived by His Excellency Anote Tong, President of Kiribati, in early 2009 and endorsed and approved by Pacific Islands Forum leaders at their 40th Meeting in 2010.

Kiribati's Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is 410,500-square-kilometer and the first commitment made to the Pacific Oceanscape. PIPA conserves one of the Earth's last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, consisting of eight coral atolls and two submerged reef systems in a nearly uninhabited region of abundant marine and bird life. The protected area also includes underwater mountains and other deep-sea habitat.


Micronesia Challenge Conservation Trust

In 2006, the Heads of Government from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the United States Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, signed the Micronesia Challenge (MC) declaration. The MC is a commitment to effectively conserve 30 percent of near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020. Since its inception, the Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee has been progressing to support the implementation of these ambitious goals. The Micronesia Challenge is a recipient of the Global Environment Facility’s co-financing resources.

Phoenix Islands Protected Area Conservation Trust

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area Conservation Trust (PIPA Trust) is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization established under the laws of the Republic of Kiribati. Its primary objective is to provide long-term sustainable financing for the conservation of terrestrial and marine biodiversity in the Phoenix Islands group. This will allow Kiribati to create the PIPA for the benefit of future generations of Kiribati citizens and the world without producing negative impacts on current national expenditures for health, education, and social welfare. The Trust is governed by the Board of Directors appointed by each of the Government of Kiribati, New England Aquarium (NEAq) and Conservation International (CI).


The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a charitable environmental organization in the United States. Its mission is to "preserve the lands and waters on which all life depends." Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy works in more than 30 countries, including all 50 states of the United States. The Conservancy has over one million members, and has protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. The Nature Conservancy also operates more than 100 marine conservation projects globally.


New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium (NEAQ), which opened in 1969, is a global leader in ocean exploration and marine conservation. The Aquarium is one of the premier visitor attractions in Boston, with over 1.3 million visitors a year, and a major public education resource.

NEAq is a key partner of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and sits on the Phoenix Islands Protected Area Conservation Trust board.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency that enriches life through science. NOAA sits within the United States Department of Commerce. NOAA's mission is based around science, service and stewardship and its vision is to build resilient ecosystems, communities and economies. NOAA has recently become a key supporter of PIPA through its international marine protected area capacity building program.


United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)

The UNEP's mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UNEP is a key supporter of the Micronesia Challenge and the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.

Te Ipukurea Society (TIS)

The Society was established to promote environmental harmony between the people of the Cook Islands and other components of their environment by: awareness raising, pilot projects and liaison with the Government and other Non Governmental Organisations.

The Society is part of the Cook Islands Marine Park Steering Committee.

Big Ocean Network

Recognizing the need to learn from each other, site managers from the world's largest MPAs met on December 6, 2010 in Honolulu and launched Big Ocean: A Network of the Worlds Large-Scale Marine Managed Areas. Big Ocean's members are the large-scale MPA sites, represented by their managers and designated representatives. Members may also invite the participation of non-manager staff from their support network of donors, researchers, NGO partners and others from the private sector. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area and Cook Islands Marine Park are members.


Forum Secretariat

The Secretariat's mandate is delivered through the annual Leaders' Communiqués and high level ministerial meeting decisions. The Forum Secretariat is also mandated to coordinate the implementation of the Pacific Plan for strengthening regional cooperation and integration. The Forum Secretariat is led by the Secretary General, currently Tuiloma Neroni Slade of Samoa, who was appointed by the leaders as the Pacific Oceanscape Commissioner in 2011. The Secretary General is directly responsible to the Forum Leaders and to the Forum Officials' Committee (FOC). FOC is the Secretariat's governing body comprising representatives from all Forum members.


Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has been charged by the governments and administrations of the Pacific region with the protection and sustainable development of the region's environment.

SPREP's members are American Samoa, Australia, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna. SPREP is based in Apia, Samoa, with over 70 staff.


World Bank

The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction. The WBI connects practitioners and institutions to help them find suitable solutions to their development challenges. With a focus on the "how" of reform, the WBI links knowledge from around the world and scale up innovations.

The WBI has various programs in the Pacific Islands region including addressing the threat of climate change, providing technical assistance to improve telecommunications, disaster risk management, and forming in country partnerships towards resilience against threats such as natural disaster and economic shocks.


VIDEO: Supporting Regional Cooperation in the Pacific Oceanscape

As a partner in the design of the Pacific Oceanscape, CI helped to create one of the world's most ambitious conservation initiatives — a framework for the long-term, sustainable management of an ocean territory four times the size of the United States. Watch now »

IN DEPTH: Learn more CI in action in the Pacific Oceanscape.

VIDEO: President Tong: On the Front Lines in the Pacific Islands

Kiribati President Anote Tong faces challenges unfathomable to most world leaders, yet he has gone further than almost anyone to protect some of the planet's most pristine waters for the global good. Watch now »

IN DEPTH: Learn more about President Tong of Kiribati.

VIDEO: Kevin Iro: A Team Effort in the Pacific Islands

Rugby player Kevin Iro knows how to bring a team together. As the driving force behind the Cook Islands Marine Park, he envisions a place equally managed by all who depend on it. Watch now »

IN DEPTH: Learn more about Kevin Iro's work in the Cook Islands.

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