Saving paradise: Protecting Pacific Island forests by empowering community action

South-Pacific Island © Rose Braverman

Many Pacific Islands are now close to losing their forests, and with them their endemic birds and biodiversity. The forests which survive are of immense conservation significance. BirdLife has identified the Pacific island state of Palau as one of the top three priorities for global forest conservation. 

Forest-owning communities are under pressure to convert their forests for agriculture, or sell the logging rights. If the forests are to thrive and regenerate, it is critical to work with local people to develop forest-based livelihoods that respect their traditions and protect their biodiversity.

BirdLife in the Pacific has developed an award-winning approach to community livelihood-based forest conservation in Fiji. The Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation funded Saving Paradise project aims to establish a network of similar demonstration sites covering 58,475 hectares of forest habitat across five Pacific countries.

Although this model is easily transferable to other parts of the world, it is highly 'Pacific' in its approach, which makes it widely applicable across the region. Hence, BirdLife Partners in New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Palau, the Cook Islands and elsewhere in Fiji have asked for support to develop community-based forest conservation projects which will help people to achieve their own objectives for the environment in the places where they live.

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Related Sites



Pridham, C. and Langley, N. (2013) Living landscapes for nature and people. Celebrating the conservation work of the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation and the BirdLife Partnership. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International Pg. 55  

Compiled: 2015    Copyright: 2015   

Recommended Citation:
BirdLife International (2015) Saving paradise: Protecting Pacific Island forests by empowering community action. Downloaded from on 26/02/2024