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Vanuatu - Overview

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Please note that this country profile has been prepared by the Secretariat on the basis of information provided in the NBSAP and national reports, but has not been reviewed by the Party concerned.

Main References

Status and Trends of Biodiversity

Overview

At present little is known about the full range of flora and fauna of Vanuatu. As a result of changing land uses, most significantly increased commercial and subsistence agriculture, and forest activities, the area of primary and secondary forest has declined. In preparing its National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, Vanuatu has identified plant species, animal species and areas of significance for biodiversity conservation... More »

Number and Extent of Protected Areas

Vanuatu has established 28 protected areas, 5 of which are marine protected areas.

Percentage of Forest Cover

Vanuatu’s forest cover is 447,000 ha, with 444,000 ha for natural forests and 3,000 ha for plantation areas.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

Vanuatu completed its National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy in 1999. The strategy highlights six key objectives for effective management of biological resources: (a) Ensure sustainable management and conservation of Vanuatu's biodiversity; (b) Develop appropriate policy, planning and legal mechanisms for the management of biodiversity; (c) Improve knowledge about biodiversity in Vanuatu; (d) Improve the capacity of national, provincial, NGO and community organisations to manage biodiversity; (e) Increase local awareness of the importance and value of biodiversity; (f) Foster community participation in the management and conservation of biodiversity... More »

Implementation of the Convention

Initiatives in Protected Areas

The focus of much present work in country is on resource use and management systems that are both applicable and practical at a local level and that are compatible with in-situ conservation of biodiversity. Support will be needed for monitoring to document the effectiveness of these approaches; extension services to promote and expand awareness of compatible resource use systems... More »

Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing

Access to genetic resources is an important issue in Vanuatu, and complicated by the fact that land and the resources associated with land belong to the traditional landholders and cannot be alienated. Particular priority has been given to identifying ways to protect the property rights of Vanuatu people to their knowledge and use of biodiversity, including local cultivars of subsistence and commercial crops... More »

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

The Constitution gives clear recognition to the rights and interests of traditional landholders, who remain the principal managers and users of biological resources and systems in Vanuatu. Objectives 2, 4 and 6 of Vanuatu’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan contain priority actions that relate specifically to the maintenance of, and respect for, the traditional practices and innovations of Vanuatu people... More »

National Contacts

Full details of national contacts »

Convention on Biological Diversity

Mr. Albert Abel Williams
CBD Primary NFP, CHM NFP
Ms. Donna Kalfatak
ICNP ABS NFP, Protected Areas NFP

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Mr. Albert Abel Williams
BCH NFP

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  • United Nations Environment Programme