The Pacific Islands region covers almost 15% of the world’s surface and is characterised by a high degree of ecosystem and species diversity as well as an extremely high level of endemicity (often over 90% for particular groups). The region has a high degree of economic and cultural dependence on the natural environment, and many conservation and development challenges: for example, rapid population growth often leading to over-harvesting of natural resources; high levels of threats by invasive species in island ecosystems; and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

The Species Programme of IUCN’s Oceania Regional Office is concerned with delivering on the organisation’s Thematic Priority Area 1 – Conserving the diversity of life - by ensuring sustainable and equitable management of biodiversity in the Pacific islands region.