Niue’s Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Mona Ainuu and a panel of experts, including Dr. Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a co-founder of the Island-Ocean Connection Challenge, discussed the connections between island and ocean ecosystems and how Pacific Island nations are scaling up investment in the management of invasive species to increase climate resilience at a COP28 side event titled “Restoring Island Resilience — Managing Invasive Species for a Resilient Pacific” in November 2023.

The Pacific Island nation of Niue was a leading voice at the recent COP28, calling for efforts to significantly scale up investment in the management of invasive species as a key action for increasing the climate resilience of vulnerable island nations. Niue and SPREPs Pacific Invasive Species Management Support Service (PRISMsS) co-hosted a special panel event together with key partners such as the Green Climate Fund. Minister Hon. Mona Ainuu, said Niue was very serious in its ambition to control its 4 priority invasive species at a national level by 2030.

“Now is the time for us to urgently address these issues with invasive species, it’s killing our ecosystem, it’s killing us as a people,” said Hon. Mona Ainuu, Niue’s Minister of Natural Resources.  “We have rodents as well as feral pigs and they have a huge impact on the habitat of other species we rely on for our food security. Our oceans are affected and it’s very sad. The impact is huge.”

Niue, a Pacific nation that has pledged to control four priority invasive species by 2030, has called for international support to ensure a holistic approach to manage key invasive species and help them achieve their goal. PRISMSS, a project launched by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in 2019 to enhance the collective efforts of Pacific countries to address the threat of invasive species to biodiversity and ecosystems, is supporting their work.

“We believe that your efforts to remove invasive species are going to have powerful impacts. The Island-Ocean Connection Challenge is going to look at these relationships so that we can understand how this works in different environments,” said Dr. Leinen.

Watch highlights from the discussion here!

Featured Image (from left to right):

• Steve Menzies (moderator) on behalf of PRISMSS
• Sefanaia Nawadra, Director General, SPREP
• Hon. Mona Ainuu, Niue’s Minister of Natural Resources
• Margaret Leinen, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography
• Benjamin Singer, Senior Forest and Land Use Specialist, Green Climate Fund