Fight to eradicate invasive species in Pacific Islands

Invasive species cause more extinctions of endemic Pacific species than any other single cause.

There have been more than 500 positive eradications around the world, some described at the Pacific Invasives Learning Network (PILN) conference last week In Samoa.

The Pacific Invasives Learning Network (PILN) met on 1–5 August in Samoa to share their best practices for invasive species management on Pacific islands.
It is possible to get rid of the invasive species even after they arrive says Mr Richard Griffiths from agency Island conservation.

"Eradications are expensive, but once complete, you don't have to worry about that pest species as long as you prevent new introductions," said Mr Griffiths”

Some of the biggest challenges facing invasive species management are coordination, funding, and human capacity in a world where movement and trade between islands is faster and more frequent than ever before added Mr Griffiths.

Twenty-two teams from Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia use PILN to coordinate actions and learn from similar Pacific experiences, making each island's response faster and better informed.

Direct action was the focus of the week-long meeting with informational guides on new Pacific Invasive Species Battler series designed to help resource managers create biosecurity plans, policies, and species eradication or control.

"The Pacific is the envy of other regions because we are lucky to have regional mechanisms supporting the fight against invasive species, such as PILN, and CROP agencies such as SPREP and SPC," said Mr David Moverley, Invasive Species Adviser to the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

The PILN2016 had 16 participants from 16 Pacific countries and territories, each combatting against invasive species that harm crops, people, and environments.

 Samoa's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment co-hosted the meeting along with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"Whatever and wherever they are, invasive species are a real threat and real challenge. I urge you to continue the fight: battle against invasive species in your respective environment", urged the Taefu Lemi Taefu, Associate Minister of MNRE.



Ms Lynley Hayes from Landcare NZ gives PILN participants sampling bags for Merremia vine. Photo: SPREP



Anishma Prasad