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Society for Conservation Biology (Oceania) – Conference in Suva, Fiji, 9-11th July 2014

Our quality of life, economies and social, cultural and spiritual values are highly dependent on the ecosystem goods and services provided by the biodiversity of Oceania. Healthy ecosystems support healthy sustainable economies and give them resilience to climate, environmental and economic change. The Pacific and its islands are clearly on the frontline in the battle for biodiversity conservation and against human-induced climate change and associated sea-level rise and increases in extreme events. At the Society for Conservation Biology (Oceania) Conference in Fiji, 200 of the region’s conservation scientists called on international agencies, governments, communities and the private sector and other stakeholders to:

• recognise the unprecedented rate of biodiversity loss in Pacific Island, Australian and New Zealand environments, caused by logging, land clearance, habitat degradation, uncontrolled harvesting of resources (e.g., overfishing), invasive species, pollution and human-induced climate change and increasing sea level rise and extreme events;

• meet commitments to blue-green environmentally sustainable development and the Aichi Targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity;

• partner with local communities by building synergies between indigenous local knowledge systems and cultural values, sharing scientific knowledge and expertise and improving capacity through training;

• base decision-making for conservation policy and management on multiple lines of evidence, including scientific and indigenous local knowledge which often provides long-term insights into changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services;

• implement integrated ecosystem management across rich biocultural land and seascape mosaics, to adequately incorporate the costs and benefits to societies and ecosystems (e.g., climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction, improved health, livelihoods, ecological security);

• implement regular reporting of the State of the Environment including of threatened species and ecosystems at local community or resource-user, regional and national levels, informed by investment in local environmental monitoring and reporting and;

• recognise the value of the newly established Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in providing timely accurate information on the state of biodiversity and ecosystem services for evidence-based policy and management aimed at sustaining future human wellbeing, biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services.