Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity


Tab 1


Partner holding threatened Mao (ma'oma'o) bird species in Samoa 

CEPF is no longer active in this region.

The 4,500 islands of this biodiversity hotspot include Micronesia, tropical Polynesia and Fiji, and are home to more than 3 million people in 20 different countries and territories. Despite its expansive ocean coverage, the land area of the hotspot covers only 46,315 square kilometers or about the size of Switzerland.

The varied lands of this unique region include rain forests, temperate forests, wetlands and savannas. These fragile areas host 476 globally threatened species that are crucial to the natural processes and sustainability of critical ecosystems, as well as the livelihoods of the Pacific islanders.

The natural assets of the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot are among the most threatened in the world, with just 21 percent of the original vegetation remaining intact. About three-fourths of the Endangered species in the hotspot are threatened by invasive animal and plant species.

Socioeconomic changes and population growth in the region have meant more dependence on cash-crop production, increased deforestation, over-harvesting of resources and the use of destructive harvesting techniques. These practices have significantly reduced and degraded existing habitats. The limited land area exacerbates these threats. To date there have been more recorded bird extinctions in this hotspot than any other. In the future, climate change is likely to become a major threat especially for low-lying islands and atolls that could disappear completely.

Our support focuses on conservation initiatives in Cook Islands, Easter Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, and Wallis and Futuna.​​

Tab 2


Lizard in forest landscape, Polynesia-MicronesiaOur investment in the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot began in June 2008 with the first grant to Conservation International's Pacific Islands Program based in Samoa to act as the regional implementation team.

Based on an ecosystem profile developed with stakeholders, the five-year investment strategy focuses on catalyzing action by civil society to counteract threats in key biodiversity areas, especially from invasive species.

The strategy emphasizes the need to prevent, control and eradicate these invasive species in 60 key biodiversity areas. Investment priorities also include promoting community-based invasive species control projects that provide employment and alleviate poverty. Strengthening or creating new environmental protection and management for these areas is emphasized.

Sixty-seven globally threatened plant and animal species are targeted for conservation action in the hotspot. In addition, CEPF investment may support marine conservation efforts where key biodiversity areas overlap with marine priorities and conservation needs.

Three strategic directions guide the $7-million investment strategy. Each project must be linked to a strategic direction to be approved for funding:

  • Prevent, control and eradicate invasive species in key biodiversity areas.
  • Strengthen the conservation status and management of 60 key biodiversity areas.
  • Build awareness and participation of local leaders and community members in the implementation of protection and recovery plans for threatened species.

A fourth strategic direction is designed for the regional implementation team to provide leadership and effective coordination of CEPF investment.

Tab 3

1. Prevent, control, and eradicate invasive species in key biodiversity areas 1.1   Strengthen defences against the introduction and spread of invasive species and pathogens that threaten biodiversity
1.2   Control or eradicate invasive species in key biodiversity areas, particularly where they threaten native species with extinction
1.3   Perform research, provide training in management techniques, and develop rapid response capacity against particularly serious invasive species
2. Strengthen the conservation status and management of 60 key biodiversity areas 2.1   Develop and manage conservation areas that conserve currently unprotected priority sites, especially critical refugia such as large forest blocks and alien-free habitats
2.2   Improve the management of existing protected areas that are priority site outcomes
3. Build awareness and participation of local leaders and community members in the implementation of protection and recovery plans for threatened species 3.1   Develop and implement species recovery plans for highly threatened species requiring species-focused action, especially those that have received little effort to date
3.2   Strengthen leadership and effectiveness of local conservation organizations by developing peer-learning networks and promoting exchanges and study tours
3.3   Raise the environmental awareness of communities about species and sites of global conservation concern through social marketing and participatory planning and management approaches
4. Provide strategic leadership and effective coordination of CEPF investment through a regional implementation team 4.1   Build a broad constituency of civil society groups working across institutional and political boundaries toward achieving the shared conservation goals described in the ecosystem profile

Tab 4

Polynesia-Micronesia biodiversity Hotspot


Tab 5

Core Documents

Monitoring & Evaluation 

  • Final Assessment, 2013
    English​ (PDF - 1.5 MB)

  • Annual Portfolio Overview, January 2012
    English (PDF - 559 KB)

  • Annual Portfolio Overview, January 2011
    English (PDF - 555 KB)
  • Annual Portfolio Overview, January 2010
    English (PDF - 63 KB)
  • Project Final Reports
    Compiled by project leaders detailing final results and lessons learned
    View reports


BirdLife International Pacific Partnership E-Bulletin
  • July - September 2010
    English (PDF - 1.6 MB)

  • April - June 2010
    English (PDF - 457 KB)
Te Ipukarea Society Inc. Newsletter

Other Publications

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis For Natural Resource Management in the Pacific, SPREP/SPC/PIFS/Landcare Research and GIZ
    English​ (PDF - 2.04 MB)

  • Plantas De Rapa Nui, January 2013, by Anthony Dubois
    Spanish - (PDF - 8.38 MB)

  • Rapid Biodiversity Assessment of Upland Savai'i, Somoa; by James Atherton and Bruce Jefferies (editors)
    English - (PDF - 4.93 MB)

  • Status of Birds, Peka (flying foxes) and Reptiles on Niue Island, by D.J. Butler, R.G. Powlesland and I.M. Westbrooke
    English - (PDF - 2.42 MB)

  • Lessons Learned
    "The Polynesia-Micronesia Biodiversity Hotspot is one of the most threatened of Earth's 34 biodiversity hotspots and by late 2012 CEPF helped fund more than 90 projects in 13 countries and territories. This series aims to disseminate project findings and successes to a broader audience of conservation professionals in the Pacific, along with interested members of the public and students."
    - Leilani Duffy, RIT Manager, CEPF Regional Implementation Team, Conservation International Pacific Islands Program

  • CEPF Mid-Term Review Conference for the Polynesia-Micronesia Hotspot, Conference Proceedings, 6th to 8th June, 2011
    English (PDF - 5.7 MB)

See also final reports and other publications from a 1-year investment program in this hotspot supported by the Australian government’s Regional Natural Heritage Program and focused on a targeted Invasive Alien Species Program.​​​​

Tab 6

Fast Facts

Status: Closed

Initial investment:

  • $7 million
  • 2008-2013
  • 113 grants

Regional Resources
Ecosystem profile, May 2007

Document: GEF Focal Point Endorsements, English (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Photos: Partner holding Mao (ma'oma'o) threatened bird species in Samoa © CI/Photo courtesy of David Butler (David Butler Associates Ltd.); Lizard in forest landscape © xx