Building capacity related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP MEAs 3)

The Pacific Island states

Fiji man plowing field in Tomaniivi.

The Pacific Island states are affected by increasingly frequent extreme weather events and changes in the availability and quality of natural resources due to degradation, depletion and the impact of climate change.

Coastal and inshore resources are particularly important as a major source of animal protein across the region and as a source of income for the small-scale sector, particularly women. However traditional shallow water resources are under threat from over-exploitation, habitat degradation, pollution, natural disasters and climate change.

This rich agrobiodiversity heritage – including the indigenous and local knowledge on which its survival depends – is, however, threatened by increasing environmental and economic pressures coming from the farming sector. These pressures arise from the increasing pace of transition from traditional, biodiverse and integrated systems to more industrial paradigms of production. These systems are based on monocultures of a few, selected cash crops, overexploitation of existing agricultural land, uncontrolled clearing of forest land and invasive alien species. Departing from traditional, diversified farming has also meant an increased dependence upon imported food supplies to meet domestic demand. This dependence is as high as 80%, in some countries. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown the vulnerability of societies that primarily rely on imports for food security.

In several of the smaller island countries, growing urban populations are concentrated on island centres where food demand is high, but new agricultural production opportunities are limited and shallow water coastal fisheries are depleted. (Multi-Country Programming Framework for the Pacific Islands (2018-2022)

FAO collaborates with the Secretariat for the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat for the Pacific Environemntal Programme (SPREP) in the Pacific.

The ACP MEAs 3 focus country in the Pacific are the Solomon Islands, an archipelago of 997 islands spread over 1.34 million km2 of ocean.