Major New Forest Conservation Paper for Fiji

40 Priority Forest Areas are identified in a major new conservation paper.

A paper published in the major conservation journal Oryx proposes a network of Priority Forests for Conservation based on a synthesis of new studies and data that have become available since the last major work was done for the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan in 1997.

Priority Forests were considered based on minimum-area requirements for some native species, representation goals for Fiji’s habitats and species assemblages, key ecological processes and the practical realities of conservation areas in Fiji.

Forty Priority Forests that cover 23% of Fiji’s total land area and 58% of Fiji’s remaining native forest were identified.

The analysis confirms the majority of conservation priority areas previously identified, recommends several new areas, and supports the Government of Fiji’s policy goal of protecting 40% of remaining natural forests to achieve the goals of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and sustain ecosystem services for Fijian communities and economies.

Native forests contain the vast majority of Fiji's endemic biodiversity (Photo: J.Kretzschmar)
Native forests contain the vast majority of Fiji’s endemic biodiversity (Photo: J.Kretzschmar)

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti Trustees Marika Tuiwawa and Dick Watling were senior authors of the paper which was put together by David Olson, formerly Wildlife Conservation Society manager in Fiji.