Mangroves are one of the most critically threatened ecosystems in the world, with a growing list of countries where 50-80% of mangroves have been cleared in the last 20 years. Mangrove areas in some Pacific Island countries are high relative to their land area, such as 12% of the Federated States of Micronesia, and 10% of PNG and Palau. Pacific Islanders were and still are traditionally coastal resource based, with many early settlements close to mangrove areas. They continue to provide significant social, economic and cultural benefits for the people of the Pacific Islands, with approximately ten million inhabitants
PMI began in 2009 with the mission to assist Pacific Island countries and territories to implement sound practices and capacity building in mangrove management. The initiative also aims to raise awareness on the value of coastal ecosystem goods and services and build capacity at all levels to aid local governments make informed decisions. The initiative looks upon mangroves as the flagship ecosystem in an integrated approach to coastal ecosystem management.
Key areas of focus of PMI are:
- Communication and awareness
- Policy and legislation
- Information and research
- Conservation and sustainable management
- Coordination and implementation
The goals of PMI are being delivered through two regional mangrove projects:
- MESCAL, Mangrove Ecosystem for Sustainable Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihoods project - implemented in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
- MARSH, Mangrove Rehabilitation for Sustainably-Managed Forest project - implemented in PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Current partners of PMI are: the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme and the following countries: Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga.