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Tuesday, 5 September

Manoj Charan (Fiji) was elected chair for the day and Shiela Utalo (Niue) rapporteur.

New arrivals introduced themselves

Country summary report -- Kiribati

Kiribati agroforestry


• 33 islands.

32 coral atolls.

1 volcanic island.

• 3 island groups




• Population: 77 658 (1995).

83 366 (2000 estimate).

• Land area: 810 km2.

Scattered over > 3 million km2 of ocean.

• Topography: very flat with highest point 4 meters.


• Porous

• Alkaline

• Infertile

• Sandy

• Coral limestone

• Coarse texture


• Average temperature 200 C.

• Rainfall varies from

1 000 mm in the southern islands; to

3 000 mm in the northern islands.


• Mangroves

• Coastal vegetation

• Inland forest

• Wetlands


• Cover 53 km of the shoreline of the Gilberts.

• Four species:

Rhizophora mucronata (most widespread)

Sonneratia spp.

Bruguiera spp.

Lumnitzera spp.

Coastal vegetation:

• Casuarina equisetifolia

• Pandanus tectorius

• Guettarda speciosa

• Scaevola sericea

• Ipomea spp.

Inland forests

• Dominated by coconut trees (Cocos nucifera).

• Characterised by:

Psionia grandis

Calophyllum inophyllum

Cordia subcordata

Scaevola sericea

Pandanus tectorius


• Teraina, Abaiang, Butaritari and Marakei are four of the islands that have wetlands.

• Apart from taro, Ipomea spp. and grass, Pandanus spp. is the most common tree growing in such areas.


• In the Phoenix and Line islands there are 283 species (67 are indigenous).

• In the Gilberts there are 306 species (83 are indigenous).

• Uses: medicinal and ceremonial purposes, boats, canoes and house building.

Current assessment

• Constraints: remoteness of the islands, funds and local expertise.

• Latest information, by Thaman et al, was on collection and identification of plant species.

• No assessment or analysis on vegetation patterns and structure.

Future trends

• Protection of flora by policy and legislation (e.g. ordinances existing but not administered).

• Training on sustaining and extending the existing flora for agricultural officers and the public.

• Increasing plant production to meet increasing demands of an increasing population.

• Introduction of new tree/plant species.

Te mauri, te raoi, ao te tabomoa

(Good health, peace, and prosperity)

Country summary report -- Samoa




Report Prepared by Aukuso Leavasa and Tolusina Pouli


Samoa lies in the southwest Pacific between latitudes 13° 25’S and 14º 05’S and longitudes 171° 23’W and 172° 48’W. It is comprised of two main islands, seven smaller islands (two of which are inhabited), islets and rocks. The total land area of Samoa is approximately 282 852 ha. The total population recorded from the last census in 1991 was 161 298; however, the Department of Statistics has estimated the total population in 1998 to be 168 027. The climate is tropical, tempered by the ocean environment, and marked by a distinctive wet season (November - April) and a dry season (May - October).

Samoa has the most diverse angiosperm flora in tropical Polynesia, with 298 genera and nearly 500 species, with a very high proportion (32%) of endemic species (Whistler 1992). Syzigium is particularly well represented among the tree genera with 16 species, 9 of which are endemic. Samoa’s vegetation can be divided into 19 plant communities arranged in five broad categories: littoral vegetation, wetland vegetation, rainforest, volcanic scrub and disturbed vegetation. The most common littoral forest is that dominated by Barringtonia asiatica. Mangroves are best developed on the south coast of Upolu, but there is a small, unique mangrove forest dominated by Xylocarpus moluccensis on the south coast of Savaii. There are four rainforest types based on elevation, viz. coastal, lowland, montane (ca. 500-1 000 m) and cloud forest (> 1 000m). Low coastal forests are dominated by Diospyros and Syzigium spp. Five associations of lowland forest can be distinguished based on dominant tree species, the most common being dominated by Pometia pinnata, although lowland forest cover has declined markedly in recent decades.

Remaining forests cover 37 percent of the total land of Samoa. Of this, indigenous forests comprise 36 percent and forestry plantations cover one percent (1%). The Forestry Division estimates that, of the remaining indigenous forest, only 5 percent is merchantable and 31 percent is non-merchantable.

The major areas of commercial forest occur on the larger island of Savaii with small areas on Upolu. The details of the remaining forest areas for Samoa are given in Table 1.

Table 1 Remaining forest areas




Forest areas





Merchantable forest

15 134




Non-merchantable forest

62 874


24 522


Established forest plantations

2 429.6




Source : MAFFM 1992

The majority of the land is owned by families or is under customary ownership; thus, most land use decisions lie in the hands of the customary landowners. The land tenure title system also unfortunately encourages the further clearance of forest to give claim and superior title to the person who clears the land. Consequently, national land use planning is difficult under the land tenure system.

The main causes of deforestation in Samoa are agriculture clearance, commercial logging and cyclones. The estimated rate of deforestation in the last five years stands at about 1 530 ha/year. This figure is considerably less than what it may have been, due to the outbreak of taro leaf blight disease that has wiped out the taro industry since 1993 and resulted in reduced demand for new planting areas.

Table 2 Estimates of land use

Land use types

Area (ha)


Merchantable forests

13 574


Forest protected under village conservation agreement

3 089


Watershed areas

31 992


National parks and reserves

2 800


Land available for reforestation

10 000


Agriculture and crop land

98 000


Recent lava flow

11 433


Unproductive and non-merchantable forest areas.

111 112



282 000


Source : GWS 1993

Table 3 Land ownership


Upolu (ha)


Savaii (ha)


Total (ha)



76 166


153 490


229 656



19 758




30 384



9 499


4 476


13 975



7 800


1 037





113 223


169 629


282 852


Source : GWS 1991a

Legal and planning.

Acts, policies and institutions that are related to the management of forest resources.




Samoa has a National Forest Policy (NFP) that is based on five guiding principles:

• Optimal and sustainable use of the forest resources.

• Forest protection.

• Basic human needs.

• Individual and collective responsibility.

• Economic development.

The NEMS, which is administered by the Department of Lands, Survey and Environment, attempts to provide a planned and systematic approach to the integration of development and environmental concerns. It also establishes the framework and recommends guidelines for national policies.

There is no code of logging practices nor any reduced impact logging guidelines for Samoa, but in the NFP as well as the Forest Regulations of 1969 there is a policy related to indigenous production forestry which calls for the sustainable utilisation and management of the remaining merchantable indigenous forests. However, these policies are not adequate to monitor the adverse impact of logging. In the meantime the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries and Meteorology is currently implementing a Sustainable Indigenous Forest Management Project in Samoa in collaboration with SPC/GTZ/PGRFP. This aims to develop a model of a sustainable harvesting system that can be used together with other regional and national codes already developed in other parts of Asia and the Pacific as a basis for developing a code of practices for forest harvesting for Samoa.

Contribution of forestry and trees to the economy and environment.

Forests play a very important role in the economy as well as the livelihood of the people of Samoa. They provide various functions to the people such as protection and conservation of the environment (soils, water, flora and fauna, etc.), production of wood and non-wood forest products and provision of recreation and tourism opportunities. Forests act as a sponge that absorbs rain and then releases it slowly to prevent flooding, drying out of rivers and the loss of soil into the sea. Forests provide poles, firewood and certain foods and medicines.

Forests in Samoa are also unique in biodiversity. They support 775 vascular plant species, of which 30% are found nowhere else. There are more native flowering plant genera than any other archipelago in Polynesia. There are 21 butterfly species and 11 species of reptiles, including 7 lizard species and 1 snake. There are 43 resident bird species, of which 8 are endemic.

During the last 20-30 years, forests supplied most of Samoa’s sawn timber needs, including export earnings. However, after 1990/1991, following two big cyclones, the volume and value of timber exports collapsed.

Paid employment in the forestry sector has, in the last 10 years, supported 10% of the labour force. With the reduced level of plantation establishment this will decline to around 6%, at which level it should remain relatively stable.

Status and trends in forest management (including silviculture)

Indigenous forest monitoring unit (IFMU)

The Division has a unit that deals mainly with the regulating of logging activities in the country, including sawmill registration, logging licenses/logging conditions, log scaling and royalty calculations, logging inspections and resource assessments.

Before the last two cyclones, a "quota system" was applied to our logging scheme, introduced by the NZODA technical advisers. The system was abolished immediately after the cyclones by cabinet with the intention of salvaging all the damaged standing merchantable trees and also those that were lying on the ground or had been wind thrown. However, after 10 years we have tried very hard to convince cabinet to re-introduce the system due to the uncontrolled extraction of logs that has been undertaken by some of the logging companies, but still have not received an answer.

Currently, we have decided to use the so called "coup system", which we think some of you are familiar with, and it is working quiet well. The only problem with this system is the high cost and the large amount of labour required to perform the survey measurements.

A draft Code of Logging Practice for Samoa has been developed that provides guidelines for the sustainable utilisation and management of the remaining merchantable indigenous and plantation forests.

Samoa sustainable forest management programme (PGRFP)

The introduction of the GTZ Sustainable Forest Management Programme into Samoa saw a great deal of recognition, especially on the part of village-based development projects, and is the first such project that involves village communities.

The project, in its initial stage, tried to select villages to be in the programme based on an inventory and the amount of potential remaining indigenous forest areas. The negotiations with the village Matai Council of Samalaeulu for the establishment of the Samoa Sustainable Forest Management Programme (SSFMP) Site continued and at the end stated its consent to establish the SSFM Pilot site in their forests. A formal agreement between MAFFM Forestry Division and the village Matai Council of Samalaeulu was signed.

The aim and purpose of the programme is to develop new sustainable forest management strategies for better utilisation of the indigenous forest, to make people more aware of the importance of the forests, and to provide necessary policies, legislation and information so that the indigenous forest can be managed in a sustainable manner.

Plantation forests

Samoa has been actively involved for the last 20 years in reforestation programmes with NZODA assistance in order to supplement its indigenous forests. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case since cyclones Ofa in 1990 and Val in 1991 destroyed almost all of the plantations.

The Division manages nine forests, six of which are more than 1 000 hectares in size. Seventy percent of the land is government-owned and 30 % was acquired on renewable 20-year leases from customary landowners. These leased lands are in the process of being returned to the customary landowners. (William Oliver 1999).

At the end of 1989, the Division thought that they had 4 392 ha of plantations. However, after the two disastrous cyclones an inventory of the remaining resources was carried out and the results were more accurate and led to the elimination of understocked stands. The Division has mounted an impressive campaign to replant these destroyed stands, some of which could be salvaged by beating up and propping up blow-downs because they had been recently planted. Planting activity has declined now to about 100 ha annually. As of June 2000, the Division's plantation area is 3 274.9 hectares The expected annual planting target for this year has again dropped to 50 ha within the reforestation project and 50 ha in the Community Forestry and Extension Programme.

Table 4 Plantations


Plantation area by island and administrative unit


South Upolu (ha)

East Savaii (ha)

West Savaii (ha)


Sweitenia macrophylla



1 011.4

2 583.4

Tectona grandis





Toona australis





Eucalyptus pellita





Eucalyptus urophylla





Eucalyptus teriticornis





Flueggea flexuosa





Terminalis calamansanai





Terminalia superba





Acacia spp.




Intsia bijuga





Mixed spp.












1 095

1 334.6

3 276.6

Key issues and concerns

The main issue is the land ownership problem faced by any introduced project in Samoa. Mentioned before in the report is the land tenure system whereby the Matais (high chiefs) completely own the land. Every negotiation must go through the right channel otherwise the project will not be accepted. A good example of this in Samoa is the GTZ project at Samalaeulu Village.

The second problem is finances. We need available funds and donor agents to enable projects to be successful.

The third issue of concern is the people’s participation. We should try to have people participate more in projects that they do their own.

And last but not least is the issue of the remaining merchantable indigenous forests. In the future Samoa will be facing a hard time importing timber from New Zealand. That will cost more money than what has historically been paid to buy local timber.

Question: Are you having any problems with the enforcement of laws?

Answer: Has improved now that we have a chief legal officer.

Question: What is the classification “unproductive forest”?

Answer: Forest with non-commercial species.

Question: Who issues timber licenses?

Answer: The Ministry of Lands. Forestry has input to the Ministry on criteria.

Question: Are native species used in reforestation?

Answer: Yes, in replanting natural forests.

Question: When was the last inventory? Is another one planned?

Answer: 1976, but only on the island of Savai’i. Would like to have a new inventory, but nothing is firm yet.

Country summary report -- Vanuatu


Mandes Kilman
Inventory Officer
Vanuatu Department of Forests

Where is Vanuatu?

• Vanuatu covers 80+ islands in the South Pacific.

• 12 000 km2 of land area (small).

• Population around 190 000 (small).

• Around one third Vanuatu is forest (>10 m).

Vanuatu and its forests

• 75% of Vanuatu is covered by natural vegetation, around one third covered by forest (>10 m).

• Virtually all land and forests are owned by customary landowners, not the government.

• Forests have important social and environmental values.

Vanuatu – small but significant

• Around 40,000 m3 logs harvested annually.

• +8,000 m3 cut by mobile mills.

• Well below sustainable yield (68,000 m3/yr).

• Small but significant because:

Firstly, Vanuatu people want to use their forests to assist their development; improved management is beneficial.

Secondly, progress in Vanuatu has relevance and possible application outside the country.

National Forest Policy

August 1995 Draft policy by consultant.

August 1996 Draft amendments to Act.

April 1997 4 workshops, National Summit.

May 1997 Policy to Minister for approval.

August 1997 Amend Act to implement some policies (COLP, sandalwood).

Nov. 1998 Policy approved by Council of Ministers, printed in three languages.

Other key events

1988 Formation of separate Department.

1989 Vanuatu started TFAP/NFAP.

1990-95 Industrial Forest Plantation Project - funded by European Union.

1991 Issues paper prepared.

1991 Unstable government - no political commitment to proceed.

1991-92 National Forest Inventory – AusAID.

1994 National Public Service strike.

1995 Draft Code of Logging Practice.

1995-99 Vanuatu Sustainable Forest Utilisation Project - AusAID funded

1996-97 National Forest Policy UNDP, FAO.

1997 Revised regional structure of Department.

1997 Public Sector reform - ADB, AusAID.

Improving forest management (joint initiatives between Vanuatu Department of Forests and AusAID VSFUP)

• Code of Logging Practice developed.

• Review silvicultural prescriptions and practices.

• Training and education of main target groups – Forest planners, supervisors (both government and industry) and operators.

• Development of technical guidelines, e. g reduced impact logging (RIL) guidelines.

• Demonstration forest to show all of the above.

Summary of recent developments in Vanuatu

• Dept. of Forests & VSFUP achievements:

Code of Logging Practice developed and enacted.

Revision of silvicultural prescriptions.

Introduction of reduced impact logging techniques.

Establishment of demonstration forest.

Structured training for industry and landowners.

• Result: assisted Vanuatu’s progress towards sustainable forest management.

Protected areas

• Vanuatu has identified and set up protected areas for conservation of biodiversity.

• Biodiversity Trust Fund exists to fund conservation activities and secure land.

• 4 areas set up so far with landowners: Big Bay, Loru, Wiawe, Erromango Kauri Reserve

• Other protected areas: Loru, Wiawi, Vathe, Uri Narong Marine Park.

• Funds and technical assistance needed.


• DoF resources and capacity limited.

• Donor aid and technical assistance used.


• Around 35 000 m3 of logs harvested annually.

• +8,000 m3 cut by mobile mills.

• Well below sustainable yield (68,000 m3/yr).

• Improve operational standards to ensure regeneration, residual stand density and quality.

• Reduced impact logging guidelines produced and demonstration area developed in 1997 will assist implementation.

Institutional constraints to sustainable forest management

• Poor infrastructure – lack of roads and shipping.

• Small scale forestry – limits marketing ability – market information needed.

• Department of Forests only a small agency – only 40 staff (including the cleaner!).

• Low level of education and training in industry and government (only 5 DoF staff have degrees).

• High training needs – beyond capacity of government to fund – donor assistance, networking and co-operation needed.

• Political instability and variable political commitment to forest policies – education/ awareness/information.

From where we are now…

...a well built policy road…


…take us where we want to go

Question: Does land remain in forests following logging?

Answer: It’s up to the landowner. Some land is turned into grazing land.

Question: When was the last inventory?

Answer: 1991.

Forestry and agroforestry alien trees as invasive plants in the Pacific islands

The full text of this presentation by Jean-Yves Meyer begins on page 70.

Invasive plants threatening Pacific ecosystems: The Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk Project

The full text of this presentation by Jim Space begins on page 87.

The SPREP invasive species programme

SPREP’s Mission

Biodiversity and Natural Resource Conservation

The Threat to Biodiversity From Invasive Species

Avifauna Conservation and Invasive Species Programmes 1998 – 2001

In-country projects

Achievements, September 1998 to September 2000:

Future work:



Country summary report – French Polynesia



prepared by/préparé par:

Jean-Yves Meyer (Dr.)

Research Management Officer
Research Department
Ministry of Health and Research
(Government of French Polynesia)
P. O. Box 20981, Papeete, Tahiti

Chargé de Recherche
Délégation à la Recherche
Ministère de la Santé et de la Recherche
(Gouvernement de Polynésie française)
B. P. 20981 Papeete, Tahiti

in collaboration with/en collaboration avec :

Willy Tetuanui

Head of the Forestry Department
Agriculture Department
Ministry of Agriculture
(Government of French Polynesia)
P. O. Box 100, Papeete, Tahiti

Chef du Dépt. "Forêt et Gestion des Espaces Ruraux"
Service du Développement Rural
Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Elevage
(Gouvernement de Polynésie française)
B. P. 100, Papeete, Tahiti


Introduction (Table 1)

French Polynesia, a French Overseas Territory with an autonomous government, is formed by about 120 tropical oceanic islands and islets, grouped into five archipelagos (Austral Islands, Gambier Islands, Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu Islands and Society Islands). These islands, of hot-spot volcanic origin, are between 0.2 and 32.7 million years old. They range from atolls and coral islets (83) to raised limestone islands (2) and high volcanic islands and rocky islets (35). The islands of French Polynesia represent a total land area of 3 521 km² scattered over 5 030 000 km² of ocean (Exclusive Economic Zone), and are among the most remote in the world, the nearest continents being over 4 000 to 6 000 km distant. The largest and highest island is Tahiti (Society Islands) with a land surface of 1 045 km² and a summit reaching 2 241 m elevation.

Forest plantations (Table 2)

The total area of forest plantations in French Polynesia is estimated to be about 9 626 ha (i.e. 2.7% of the total land surface) based on tree counts and tree densities in the field (Tetuanui 1999).

The most important timber tree species are the introduced/non-native Caribbean pine or "pin des Caraïbes" (Pinus caribeae var. caribeae and P. caribeae var. hondurensis) with 5 865 ha planted (i.e. 61% of the forest plantations), and the Molucca albizia or "falcata" (Paraserianthes falcataria, synonym Albizia falcataria) with 2 469 ha (25%), which was planted for "soil protection" (soil erosion control, soil improvement by nitrogen-fixing and to provide windbreaks) rather than for wood production, as well as the native common ironwood or "aito" (Casuarina equisetifolia). Other major forest trees used for timber, furniture and woodcraft include the native "miro" (Thespesia populnea), "tou" (Cordia subcordata), the introduced teak or "teck" (Tectona grandis), Swietenia macrophylla and S. mahogani. The native "tamanu" (Calophyllum inophyllum), and the introduced "auteraa" (Terminalia catappa), West Indian cedar (Cedrela odorata), African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis and K. ivorensis), cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale), Brazilian copal (Hymenaea courbaril) and Eucalyptus spp. are less commonly planted (W. Tetuanui personal comm.).

Recent forest assessments/studies conducted by the forestry officers of the Service du Développement Rural, have precisely estimated and mapped Caribbean pine plantations on some major forested areas in French Polynesia, such as the northern part of Raiatea (Society Islands) with 470 ha of the 600 ha planted on the whole island (Tetuanui, 1999 and Figure 1), and the Toovii plateau on Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Islands) with 780 ha of the 1440 ha planted (Amiot, 2000 and Figure 2).

Coconut tree plantations (Table 3)

The total area of coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) plantations that are currently exploited in French Polynesia is estimated to be about 17 547 ha, i.e. 5% of the total land surface. Most of these plantations are located in the Tuamotu atolls with 10 840 ha exploited on 15% of the land surface (N. Tetuanui 1999). It should be noted that exploited coconut trees represent between 30% to 40% of the existing coconut tree plantation areas in most island groups (N. Tetuanui personal comm., 2000), explaining why some sources have estimated the total area of coconuts plantations in the Tuamotu Islands to be about 25 000 ha (Ribier et al., 1997).

Natural forests

The total area of "natural forests" (which includes, according to the FAO definition, native/primary forest dominated by native species and relatively undisturbed by man, and secondary forests dominated by non-native/alien/exotic species disturbed by man) in French Polynesia is presently unknown due to the lack of available data and/or data analysis. High volcanic islands (with summits > 800-1 000 m elevation), such as in the Marquesas and Society Islands, have large surface areas covered by native montane wet forests (also called cloud forests) and summit wet shrublands, whereas low volcanic islands (< 400-600 m elevation), such as in the Austral and the Gambier Islands, have very small remnants of native forest left (Florence 1993; Florence & Lorence 1997; Mueller-Dombois & Fosberg 1998).

According to the FAO agricultural production statistics for 1994, the estimate the area of forest (closed and open forests) and other wooded lands in French Polynesia is about 115 000 ha (in Waterhouse 1997). According to R. Jamet (1987:111), “the area covered by forests on all the high islands of French Polynesia is estimated to be 70% of the total land surface” which means an area of about 2 000 km². The same author calculated that the area of forested land (including forest plantations, native and secondary forests, fernlands and shrublands) on the island of Tahiti is 630 km² (i.e. 60% of the total land surface), based on soil analysis and topographical maps, i.e. on slope and elevation (Table 4 and Table 5). According to an unpublished document by J.-F. Cherrier (cited in Detienne & Jacquet 1999), the forested area (including natural forests and forest plantations, but excluding coconut tree plantations) covers 1 407 km² in French Polynesia, i.e. 40% of the total land surface (Table 6), with 840 km² in the Society Islands and 500 km² in the Marquesas Islands.

Vegetation maps do exist for several islands of French Polynesia. For instance, a hand-drawn map of the small (40 km²) and remote island of Rapa (Austral Islands), based on field surveys, includes the location of Caribbean pine plantations, wetlands, herbaceous vegetation (grassland and fernlands), arboreal vegetation (closed forests) and montane cloud forest (Halle, 1984 and Figure 3). Five of the main islands of French Polynesia (Tahiti and Moorea in the Society Islands, Rurutu in the Austral Islands., Makatea in the Tuamotu Islands and Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands.) have detailed cartography of their plant communities based on extensive field surveys and aerial photographs (Florence, 1993 and Figure 4). Five other islands (Huahine, Tahaa, and Raiatea in the Society Islands, Tubuai in the Austral Islands and Mataiva in the Tuamotu Islands) have less detailed cartography of the vegetation with mapped natural forests and forest plantations (Yvon-Cassat & Dupon, 1993 and Figure 5). Vegetation maps of the uninhabited island and natural reserve of Mohotani (Marquesas Islands), of the natural park and reserve of Vaikivi on the island of Ua Huka (Marquesas Islands), and of the Temehani plateau on the island of Raiatea (Society Islands) (Meyer, 1996 and Figure 6) have been recently conducted based on extensive field surveys, topographic maps and aerial photographs when available. However, none of these vegetation maps described above have estimated the area of the different vegetation types.

Maps with estimates of forest area

Only a few studies, mapping small areas with ecological or agronomic interests, have provided estimates of vegetation area (including forest and other wooded land). These vegetation maps are based on SPOT satellite photographs, supplemented with more or less accurate field surveys:

• The Taravao plateau on the island of Tahiti with a total area of 2 540 ha, including 280 ha of forests and 810 ha of shrublands and grasslands (Feau & Fol 1990)

• The western side of Nuku Hiva, called "Terre Déserte", with a total area of 10 922 ha, including 952 ha of forests (de Wispelaere et al., 1992 and Figure 7)

• The atolls and natural reserves of Taiaro (468 ha of land) in the Tuamotu Islands; Scilly (623 ha), Bellinghausen (438 ha) and Mopelia (536 ha) in the Society Islands and the islands and natural reserves of Eiao (3 530 ha) and Hatutaa (708 ha) in the Marquesas Islands (Pae Tai-Pae Uta/S.P.T., 1995 and Figure 8).

Other recent studies for Land Management Plans (Plan Généraux d’Aménagement) have been conducted in Tahiti (P.G.A. of Mahina, Figure 9) and other islands of French Polynesia. Vegetation maps are essentially based on aerial photographs and provide some estimates of forest area.

Natural forest cover changes

The main threats to the natural forest are human activities (deforestation for housing, intensive cultivation and forest plantations, hydro-electric construction), over-grazing by mammals (goats, sheep, cows and horses), fire, feral pig activity and invasion by alien plants.

The predominant invasive plant species is the small tree Miconia calvescens, which covers over 70 000 ha on Tahiti in the mesic and wet areas (mean annual rainfall > 2 000 mm) up to 1 300 m elevation (Meyer & Florence, 1996 and Figure 10), choking out the natural forests, including the native montane wet forests. Other plant invaders legally declared "a threat to the biodiversity" of French Polynesia include the mat-forming and fire-inducing grass Melinis minutiflora (Gramineae); the thorny shrubs Acacia farnesiana (Leguminosae), Lantana camara (Verbenaceae) and Rubus rosifolius (Rosaceae), which form dense impenetrable thickets; and the trees Ardisia elliptica (Myrsinaceae), Cecropia peltata (Cecropiaceae), Leucaena leucocephala (Leguminosae), Psidium cattleianum (Myrtaceae) Spathodea campanulata (Bignoniaceae), Syzygium cumini (Myrtaceae), Syzygium jambos (Myrtaceae) and Tecoma stans (Bignoniaceae), which form dense monotypic stands.


The total area of coconut tree plantations (about 17 550 ha) and forest plantations (about 9 625 ha) is relatively well estimated. Estimation of area by archipelago or island group for coconuts plantations and estimation of the area of specific tree species for forest plantations is needed.

Although vegetation maps exist for some islands, it is currently impossible to provide global land cover maps and the total area of the natural forests in French Polynesia (which are estimated to be between 1 047 km² and 2 000 km²) due to lack of available data and/or data analysis.

Future prospects

NASA conducted a recent aerial survey (August 2000) of the five archipelagos of French Polynesia using radar photographs ("Airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar"). The Government of French Polynesia sponsored this survey with the scientific assistance of the University of French Polynesia. Data should be available in 2001, and vegetation mapping (with calculation of forested areas) will be provided. A land management project using a GIS (Geographic Information System) is also planned in French Polynesia for 2002.


Amiot, S. 2000. Eléments pour un plan d’aménagement forestier du plateau de Toovii sur l’Île de Nuku Hiva (Archipel des Marquises-Polynésie française). B.T.S. Gestion forestière, Rapport de Stage (unpublished report).

Detienne, P. & Jacquet, P. 1999. Manuel d'Identification des Bois de Polynésie. CIRAD/CNRS/MNHN, Paris.

De Wispelaere, G., Jourdan, S. & Touain, B. 1992. Evaluation des potentialités agropastorales du domaine de Terre Déserte de l’île de Nuku Hiva (Archipel des Marquises –Polynésie française). Pp 469-479 in Pix’Iles 90, Remote Sensing and Insular Environments in the Pacific : Integrated Approaches. ORSTOM, Nouméa.

Feau, C. & Fol, P. 1990. Utilisation d’images satellitaires SPOT pour la mise en valeur agricole de terres (Taravao, Nuku-Hiva). Volet I. Ile de Tahiti. Presqu’île de Taiarapu (Taravao). CIRAD-IRAT, Montpellier.

Florence, J. 1993. La végétation de quelques îles de Polynésie française. Planches 54-55 in Atlas de la Polynésie française, Editions de l’ORSTOM, Paris.

Florence, J. & Lorence, D. 1997. Introduction to the Flora and Vegetation of the Marquesas Islands. Allertonia 7(4): 226-237.

Halle, N. 1994. Carte des Forêts de l’île Rapa (Polynésie française). Pp 102-103 in Rapa. DIRCEN/SMCB, Papeete.

Jamet, R. 1987. Les sols et leurs aptitudes culturales et forestières. Tahiti (Polynésie française). Editions de l’ORSTOM, Collection Notice Explicative N°107, Paris.

Meyer, J.-Y. 1996. Espèces et Espaces Menacés de la Société et des Marquises. Contribution à la Biodiversité de Polynésie française N°1-5. Délégation à l’Environnement/Délégation à la Recherche, Papeete.

Meyer, J.-Y. 1997. Epidemiology of the invasion by Miconia calvescens and reasons for a spectacular success. Pp 4-26 in Meyer, J.-Y. & Smith, C.W. (eds.) Proceedings of the First regional Conference on Miconia Control. Gouvernement de Polynésie française/University of Hawaii at Manoa/Centre ORSTOM de Tahiti, Papeete.

Meyer, J.-Y. & Florence, J. 1996. Tahiti’s native flora endangered by the invasion of Miconia calvescens (Melastomataceae). Journal of Biogeography 23(6): 775-781.

Mueller-Dombois, D. & Fosberg, F. R. 1998. Vegetation of the Tropical Pacific Islands. Springer Verlag, New York.

Pae Tai-Pae Uta/S.P.T. 1995. Cartographie sommaire de la végétation par images SPOT des îles et atolls de Bellinghausen, Scilly, Mopelia, Taiaro, Eaio, Hatutaa et Motu One. Délégation à l’Environnement, Papeete.

Ribier, V., Calvez, C.H. & Rouziere, A. 1997. Evaluation de la filière cocotier en Polynésie française. Accord Cadre N°69-94 Etat-Territoire de Polynésie française/CIRAD.

Tetuanui, N. 1997. Rapport des activités du 4ème Secteur Agricole des Tuamotu-Gambier en 1997. Ministère de l’Agricuture et de l’Elevage-Service du Développement Rural, 4°SA, 29 Décembre 1997 (unpublished report).

Tetuanui, N. 2000. Déplacement aux Marquises dans le cadre de l’opération "cocoteraie". N°382/4°SA/DR (unpublished report).

Tetuanui, W. 1999. Propositions d’aménagement des peuplements de Pins des Caraibes au Nord de Raiatea 2000-2009. CNEARC-ENGREF/SDR-FOGER (unpublished report).

Yvon-Cassat, F. & Dupon, J. F. 1993. L’agriculture et l’utilisation du sol. Planche 84-85 in Atlas de la Polynésie française, Editions de l’ORSTOM, Paris.

Table 1. Physiographic diversity of the tropical oceanic islands of French Polynesia (after Meyer, 2000)

Island Groups




Max. elev.

Highest summit name

(Island name)


(Million years)


(+ coral islets)

Raised limestone islands

High volcanic islands

(+ rock islets)

Total number of islands

(+ islets)

Society Islands



1 597

2,241 m

Mont Orohena







Austral Islands




650 m








Tuamotu Islands




90 m








Gambier Islands




445 m

Mont Duff





9 (+1)

17 (+1)

Marquesas Islands



1 049

1,276 m


(Hiva Oa)


0 (+1)



11 (+1)



3 521



82 (+1)


34 (+1)

118 (+2)

Table 2. Total cover area (in hectares) of forestry plantations in French Polynesia (after Tetuanui, 1999)

Island Groups

(total land surface)

Pinus caribaea

(planted for soil protection)

Paraserianthes (Albizia) falcataria


Other forestry plantations




Society Islands

(Windward Islands)

(40 350 ha)








Society Islands

(Leeward Islands)

(119 410 ha)








Austral Islands

(14 784 ha)








Tuamotu + Gambier Islands

(72 646 ha)








Marquesas Islands

(104 930 ha )









(352 120 ha)








Windbreaks mainly Casuarina equisetifolia, plus Anacardium occidentale and Eucalyptus spp.

Other forestry plantations mainly Cordia subcordata, Swietenia macrophylla and S. mahogani, Tectona grandis and Thespesia populnea, plus Calophyllum inophyllum, Cedrela odorata, Hymenaea courbaril, Khaya senegalensis and K. ivorensis and Terminalia catappa

Table 3. Total cover area (in hectares) of coconut tree plantations that are currently exploited in French Polynesia

Island group



% of the total land surface


Society Islands.

(mainly in the Leeward Islands)

ca. 3 000


N. Tetuanui, pers. comm. 2000

Marquesas Islands

3 557


N. Tetuanui, 2000

Austral Islands

(mainly on the island of Rimatara)

ca. 150 ha


N. Tetuanui, pers. comm. 2000

Tuamotu and Gambier Islands

10 840


N. Tetuanui, 1999


17 547



Table 4. Classification of lands according to their agronomic capacity on the island of Tahiti and estimated surface area (in Jamet, 1987)

Land classification




Cultivated lands



Lands with potential for cultivation



Lands inappropriate for cultivation, with potential for afforestation



Unusable lands (steep slopes > 120%, wetlands)




1 052


Table 5. Current and potential use of lands inappropriate for cultivation and with potential for afforestation in Tahiti (modified after Jamet, 1987)

Total surface in km² (%)

Location and elevation range

Slope (%)

Other limiting factors

Current and potential use



Low-elevation valleys and slopes


Susceptible to erosion

Forestry plantations



Mid-elevation valleys and slopes


Susceptible to erosion, difficult access

Conservation lands

(natural forests and fernlands)



High elevation plateaux

900-1 000 m


Very difficult access, very shallow soils, aluminium toxicity

Conservation lands & potential forestry plantations



High elevation steep slopes


Very difficult access, very high erosion, very shallow soils, rocky soils

Conservation lands & potential forestry plantations in the best areas



Upper elevation

> 900-1 000 m


Very difficult access, very high erosion, shallow soils, aluminium toxicity

Conservation lands

(summit and ridge shrublands)

Table 6. Forested areas (natural forest and forestry plantations) in French Polynesia (according to Cherrier, 1991 in: Detienne & Jacquet, 1999)

Island group

Forested areas


% of the total land surface

Society Islands



Marquesas Islands



Austral Islands



Tuamotu and Gambier Islands




1 407



Figure 1. Caribbean pine plantations map on the North of Raiatea (Society Islands, Leeward group) based on aerial photographs and field surveys (Tetuanui 1999)

Figure 2. Caribbean pine plantations map on the Toovii plateau (Marquesas Islands) based on aerial photographs and field surveys (Amiot 2000)

Figure 3. Map of the forests of Rapa (Austral Islands) based on field surveys (Halle 1984)

Figure 4. Cartography of the plant communities in Tahiti (Society Islands, Windward group) and Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Is.) based on field surveys and aerial photographs (Florence 1993)

Figure 5. Vegetation and cultivated areas map of Huahine and Tahaa (Society Islands, Leeward group) based on field surveys and aerial photographs (Yvon-cassat & Dupon 1993).

Figure 6. Vegetation map of the natural reserve of Mohotani (Marquesas Islands) based on aerial photographs and field surveys (Meyer 1996)

Figure 7. Vegetation map of Eiao (Marquesas Islands) based on satellite photographs (Pae Tai-Page Uta/S.P.T. 1995)

Figure 8. Vegetation map of Terre Déserte on Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Islands) based on satellite photographs and field surveys (de Wispelaere et al. 1992)

Figure 9. Vegetation map of the Mahina County on Tahiti (Society Islands, Windward group) based on aerial photographs (Service de l’Urbanisme, Section Etudes et Plan 1999).

Figure 10. Map of the distribution of Miconia calvescens in the island of Tahiti (Meyer 1998).

Question: What is the forest industry?

Answer: No sawmills as it’s cheaper to import wood than to mill it locally. Also no export of wood. There is a question as to what to do with the existing pine plantations.

Country summary report – Niue

A country summary report was given at the workshop but was not received by the workshop secretariat.

Question: What is the population

Answer: About 1 500.

Question: Are you self-sufficient in wood?

Answer: No, pine is imported from New Zealand.

Country summary report – Federated States of Micronesia

Forestry activities

• Nursery and seedling distribution.

• Extension and awareness.

• Environment impact assessments.

• Urban and Community forestry projects.

• Watershed conservation.

• Low-grow campaign for sakau (kava).


An inventory of all major islands of FSM was carried out in 1983 assisted by the USDA Forest Service and foresters from the State of Hawai'i. Vegetation maps showing vegetation types were produced from the maps.


• In 1975 Pohnpei’s undisturbed forests were about 45% of land area. In 1995 the undisturbed forest was 15%. Mostly due to cultivation of kava.

• After expiration of the compact of agreement with the US there will be less money and probably more kava growing.

Future plans

• Develop community-based resource planning and management.

• Develop alternatives to unsustainable kava cultivation.

• Build leadership capacity for conservation and sustainable development in the communities.

• Develop community-based monitoring and enforcement programs.

• Develop conservation financing mechanisms.

• Develop legislation to enable community involvement in resource management decisions.

• Carry out aerial photography.

• Certification of kava.

Question: How much area in mangroves?

Answer: 30 000 plus acres in FSM. There is now a management plan.

Question: How did you determine how much area was disturbed in 1975 and 1995?

Answer: It was done by comparing aerial photography from the two years.

Question: How is kava cultivated in the forest?

Answer: It’s shifting cultivation. An area of the forest is opened up and kava is raised for up to 15 years.

Question: Are any plantations planned?

Answer: No, once people abandon plots there is adequate regeneration. There are approximately 100 acres of existing plantations.

Question: Are there any agroforestry projects?

Answer: Agroforestry is the usual and historic use, so there are no special projects.


Mette Wilkie
FAO Forestry Department

There is a lack of information on areas and resources. Yet, an important forest type – especially in many of the smaller Pacific Islands.

Definition: Trees and shrubs growing below the high water level of spring tides. Applies to both the plants and the ecosystem as a whole.

Distribution: Inter-tidal zone of sheltered coastlines and in river deltas and estuaries of the tropics and sub-tropics. Total area not well known but in the range of 16-20 million ha.

Species: About 90 different species of trees, palms and shrubs worldwide. Main species include Rhizophora spp. Bruguiera spp. Avicennia spp. Sonneratia spp. and Nypa fruticans.

Growing conditions

• Unstable mud substrate with limited oxygen.

• Regular inundation of forest floor with saline water.

• Exposure to wind, waves and water currents.

Coping mechanisms

• Arch-formed stilt roots for anchorage and oxygen uptake (Rhizophora).

• Lateral root system with aerial roots (pneumatophores) for oxygen uptake (Avicennia spp., Sonneratia spp.).

• Viviparous or semi-viviparous seeds (germinate while still attached to tree (Rhizophoraceae) or shortly after falling off the tree (Avicennia spp.), which float.

• Salt sieves in roots/stems (Rhizophora spp) or salt excretion glands in leaves (Avicennia spp.).


• Mangrove forest products: timber, poles, firewood, charcoal, tannin, thatch, fodder, vinegar/alcohol, sugar, honey, medicine.

• Fisheries products: fish and shellfish.

• Other benefits: contribution to marine food web, coastal protection, erosion and siltation control and conservation of fauna and flora.

Competing land-uses

• Fish/shrimp ponds.

• Rice fields.

• Salt ponds.

• Infrastructure.

Many uses are compatible

Restoration efforts

Need for comprehensive and integrated approach to the conservation and sustainable use of the mangrove ecosystem.

See also: Worldwide distribution of mangroves, p. 84

Mangrove research

Laura Laumatia (American Samoa) reported on research being done on the spread of mangroves across the Pacific (page 86).

Country summary report – Cook Islands

Cook Islands consists of 15 islands

• Scattered over two million km2 of the Pacific Ocean.

• Land area: 230 km2.

• Population: 18 600.

Forest distribution

• Atoll forests in the northern group, dominated by coconuts.

• Highland forests – Rarotonga (67 km2).

• Makatea forests – Mangaia, Atiu, Mauke and Mitiaro.

• Plantation forests – Atiu, Mauke, Mangaia and Rarotonga.

Forestry sector

• Forestry Division abolished in 1997.

• Currently part of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Forest plantations

• NZODA funding.

• Rarotonga, Mangaia, Mauke and Atiu.

• Primarily Pinus caribea.


• Environment Act.

• Devolution policy – money and authority given to individual islands, they make their own decisions.

Economic contribution

• Eco-tourism – tourism is now the primary income for the country.

• Export (nil).

• Crafts.

• Fuelwood.

Forest resources assessment (national)

• No vehicle for doing an inventory since Forest Division abolished.

• FAO’s assistance needed.

Country summary report – Tonga


• 170 islands (37 inhabited).

• Total land area 747 km2.

• Main island Tongatapu (251 km2).

• Total population about 100 000.

Forestry Division under Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Forestry objectives

• Self-sufficiency in timber needs.

• Commercialize forest plantations and forest nurseries.

• Furnish planting materials.

• Work with farmers and public groups.

Forest plantations (commercial)

• Business plan (NZODA) 1998.

• 495 ha of exotic spp.:

• Sustainable cut – 5 000 m3 in 2004.

• Tonga timber consumption about 8 000-10 000 m3 per year.

Latest forest inventory 1998-1999.

Forest types:

• Coastal shrub forest.

• Coastal forest.

• Tropical lowland forest.

• Tropical lowland forest with shrub types.

Area of coconuts has decreased but is still substantial.

Increased area going to mechanical farming.

Question: Any national parks?

Answer: There is a national park of about 500 ha.


The day’s presentations were summarised by Robert Davis

Wednesday, 6 September

Vitus Ambia PNG) was the chair for the day and Mandes Kilman (Vanuatu) rapporteur.

The SPC Forest and Trees Programme

Please see the paper “An introduction to the SPC Forests & Trees Programme (Strategies and Activities for the Future and Linkages with FAO FRA 2000)”, beginning on page 88.

Note: The SPC Regional Forestry Strategic Plan 2000–2003 and the Logical Framework (Logframe) are available on request from SPC.

Data gaps and inventory needs for the Pacific region

Following are major data gaps and inventory needs identified in this discussion session:

Need better mechanisms to share and communicate.

• Suggestions: Web site, internet, e-mail discussion.

Lack of capacity

• People.

• Funding – forestry and forest inventory are often of low priority.

• Advice and assistance on purchase and use of GIS technology.

• Training and technical assistance (inventory, GIS, invasives).

Lack of follow-up on existing inventories.

Access to updated aerial photos or remote sensing.

Information needs analysis

• Fit data collection to needs of the country (e.g. small islands).

• Tie to management decisions and monitoring needs.

• Understanding of FAO data needs.

• Appropriate reliability and accuracy.

• Convince decisionmakers of the need.

• Information on non-timber forest products may be of increased importance.

Development, training and use of appropriate techniques that meet the country’s needs at the lowest cost

• May not need high-cost, high-intensity inventories.

• Reconnaissance or low-intensity surveys may be more appropriate in many cases.

• Costing and requirements for inventories.

Database development

• Analysis of information needs.

• Software/hardware packages and costs.

• Possible assistance from SPC and SPREP.

Continuity of staff and training

• Inventories only conducted periodically.

• Difficult to keep people up to date.

The FRA information system

Magnus Grylle demonstrated the FRA information system.

Field trip

Vailima Watershed Management Station.

The watershed management project was described and the group toured the forest nursery.

Matautu Lefaga Reforestation Project.

The forest plantation at Lefaga is situated on customary land originally owned by Lefaga village. The land is therefore leased by the government for the reforestation project by the Forestry Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests Fisheries and Meteorology.

The total area leased for forestry plantations is 456 ha for a term of 20 years. The forest plantation was established in 1984, with NZOADP the major and active donor to the project.

In 1955, the NZ Government, after its site conditions review (following two major consecutive devastating cyclones in 1990 and 1991), withdrew its assistance; hence the workforce and scale of operations were then reduced by around 50%. This also resulted in cessation of new planting on the leased plantation areas. The only field operation now carried out at the Lefaga project is plantation maintenance. When new planting ceased in 1995 the total planted area for the Lefaga project amounted to 307 ha.

The major species planted are Swietenia macrophylla (80%) and others, including Flueggea flexuosa (poumuli), Terminalia calamansanai, Eucalyptus europhylla, E. pellita, Toona australis, etc. (20%). Although the plantation was established in 1984, no crops of trees 3 to 6 years old survived the cyclones, only one and two year old plantations. The oldest compartment, therefore, is a 12-year-old plantation established in 1988. Most compartments were refilled, replanted and established from 1991 on, after cyclone Val.

The average compartment is around 8 ha for good site conditions and 2.5 ha for swampy and rocky areas. The area is rough and the soil is more or less thin and mostly swampy. There has not been any major silvicultural treatment applied yet except base line thinning.

Togitogiga Forest

Togitogiga forest plantation is on government land. The plantation is adjacent to the government National Park and Reserve area on its west side and further uphill on the north is the government livestock cattle farm.

The forest plantation was established in 1978. The total area for the forestry section is 415 ha, of which only 198 ha have been established. Most of the old plantations were written off after cyclones in 1990 and 1991. Because of the very rocky and rough conditions of the site, replanting operations have been carefully considered for productive areas. New plantings are therefore still scheduled for this plantation, although it is a slow process.

The major species planted are mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), Eucalyptus europhylla, E. territecornis, teak (Tectona grandis) and some remaining old E. degulpta.

The three forest plantations at South Upolu are supplied from Togitogiga nursery with seedlings at the main office at Togitogiga compound.

Thursday, 7 September

FAO plan of action on agriculture in small island developing states

Please see page 92 for the text of this presentation by Mette Wilkie.

Data validation

The remainder of the day was spent in individual data validation sessions.

Friday, 8 September

Aokuso Levasa (Samoa) was elected Chair and Sheri Mann (American Samoa) rapporteur.

Summary of data gaps and how to fill them

Most countries don’t have enough data to estimate change. Either inventories don’t exist, or there has only been one inventory. Expansion of residential areas and agriculture are the major change factors. May have to go to other departments (land surveys, housing department, etc.) or gather other information to estimate forest loss. Projected areas are based on best information available.

Provide volume data and change in volume if available.

Plantation areas can be provided based on map data. Provide volume data if available.

Most countries don’t have data on fuelwood, but this is an important use. If there are any reports or estimates those can be used.

Some of the forest products data is inaccurate. Correct data or furnish best information available. Some information may need to come from the customs department.

Provide whatever information available on non-forest products.

Information on mangroves is available for most of the countries. Niue has none, Cook Islands has some mangrove-associated species, and French Polynesia has introduced species. Additional information in needed on change and this may need to come from other agencies, perhaps those that issue permits or the fisheries department.

The area under sustainable forest management can come from the areas that have been certified or those under an approved management plan. Also need descriptive text to show how countries are moving to sustainable forest management.

Watershed management is an important issue on Pacific islands, so any data on this will be especially valuable.

Geographic descriptions are generally OK. Vegetation descriptions are mostly OK but there are corrections to some. These descriptions can be changed at any time if changes are needed in the future.

Data on fires, insect and disease problems, invasive species and weather factors need to be furnished for most countries.

Important topics and issues identified by the workshop

Robert Davis – Need to restart inventories in the Pacific island countries. FAO can help with guidance, training and some targeted assistance.

Herson Anson – There has been mention of rapid resource appraisal. Maybe this can be used to get basic information.

Robert Davis – There are some publications available on how to do this.

Mette Wilkie – Community Forestry in FAO has some information about how communities can do this.

Tevita Togia– I can send some information on how the US National Park Service does inventory and monitoring.

Robert Davis – FAO can help with reproduction and distribution.

Robert Davis – For assistance in compiling information, can meet with FAO individually or if there are general issues we can discuss them here.

Vitus Ambia – The biggest constraint is the time available to sit down and put together the data. We have lots to do and few people available. We’ll do the best we can.

Robert Davis – We can send a letter of support to those countries that want it.

Sheri Mann – We may ask FAO to send letters to other departments to assist in collecting the needed information.

Sairusi Bulai – Each country needs a contact person. Hope the people here will be able to serve as contact people.

Aru Mathias – Each FAO country has a designated contact. They are provided some resources to meet some reporting and correspondence needs.

Sheri Mann – How can AS and other US territories get support to participate?

Mette Wilkie – Will look into rules and regulations as to how states within FAO member countries can be handled.

Jim Space – If there is notice far enough in advance there is the possibility of getting support through the US Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry program.

Samuela Lagataki – A good way to co-ordinate is through the SPC Forestry Programme.

Vitus Ambia – It would be helpful to communicate with us periodically.

Robert Davis – We can set up a group e-mail address and send out information periodically.

Magnus Grylle – After the critical need to get the FRA 2000 report out there may be more time and resources available to devote to capacity building.

Robert Davis – Could we set up a working group on forest inventory?

Vitus Ambia – That is a good idea. May want to separate into groups that have common issues.

Jim Space – May want to set up under Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission.

Mette Wilkie – May be better under SPC because it covers the entire region.

Sairusi Bulai – Forest and Trees Newsletter can be used for communication. FAO could help sponsor pages in the newsletter.

Samuela Lagataki – There is an electronic GIS/remote sensing newsletter for the Pacific.

Follow-up on data gaps, issues and concerns

Capacity building

Robert Davis – Propose FAO sponsor a workshop on forest inventories within the next 18 months.

Jim Space – US Forest Service is beginning the process to do new inventories for the US and US-associated islands. The pilot projects are Hawai'i, Marshall Islands and Guam. An information needs analysis is available. Assistance for other Pacific islands may be available on a case-by-case basis. Modest, short-term projects using technical assistance from USFS personnel are most likely to be funded.

Sairusi Bulai – Can facilitate co-operation and serve as an intermediary for funding of some projects. Looking at sponsoring a workshop on database and GIS needs. The Forest and Trees newsletter is available for communication – countries are encouraged to use it.


Thanks were expressed to FAO for putting on the workshop and to Samoa for its sponsorship and hospitality. Robert Davis thanked the delegates for their participation. The workshop was closed at 11:30.

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