About Oceania

IUCN's Oceania region covers Australia, New Zealand and the 24 countries and territories of the Pacific Islands making up Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

The region stretches almost 12,000km from East to West and 6,000km from North to South, with a combined Exclusive Economic Zone  of close to 40 million square km. In contrast, the total land area is just over 8.5 million square km, with the larger islands of Australia (7 million square km), Papua New Guinea (463,000 square km) and New Zealand (268,000 square km) accounting for approximately 93% of this total land area.

The total human population is estimated at 35 million, with just over 25 million in Australia and 5 million in New Zealand. Approximately 9 million people inhabit the various Pacific Island countries and territories, with differences observed according to the size of the country.

Manono Island, Samoa.

Valuing and Conserving Nature

Mangroves are an important but fragile ecosystem

Nature-based Solutions


Environmental Governance

Oceania also contains a diverse range of ecosystems, from coral reefs to kelp forests, mangroves to montane forests, and wetlands to deserts.

Throughout the Pacific, nature supports the daily livelihoods of island communities. Nature is both culturally significant and the primary source of food, water and income. However, increasing pressures from growing populations, extractive industries, infrastructure developments and invasive species are increasing the risk of biodiversity loss in many countries.

Australia and New Zealand lead the region’s economic development, and have solid capacity in the environmental management of developments. The countries and territories of the Pacific Islands have also made progress in recent years in building environmental governance and policy. IUCN often acts as a broker for the environment, encouraging governments, like-minded organizations and communities to work together for the sustainable management of nature’s resources.

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Mangrove Planting. PC Epeli Nakautoga
Addressing the climate crisis in the Pacific through the Kiwa Initiative

The Kiwa Initiative local projects component, which is aimed at boosting climate resilience in the Pacific, was launched in Suva, Fiji earlier today.

Hosted by IUCN Oceania, the launch was attended by various partners from…