Kiribati fourth national report to the convention on biological diversity

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Aranuka Island (Gilbert Group) Picture by: Raitiata Cati

Prepared by: Environment and Conservation Division - MELAD

20th September 2010



Contents 2

Acknowledgement 2

Acronyms 3

Executive Summary 4


Chapter 2: NBSAP 57

Chapter 3- Sectoral and Cross-Sectoral Integration of Biodiversity Considerations 64


Annex I: List of National Biodiversity Committee Members 80

References: 82

4.Kiribati National Assessment Report for the Review of the Barbados Programme of Action + 10, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, June 2000. 83


The compilers of this report would like to acknowledge the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for making this reporting possible through the provision of financial assistance. The Government of Kiribati is also indebted to the support from regional CROP (Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific) agencies namely Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) for its continued technical support and advice throughout the process and development of this Fourth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Much gratitude are owed to Ministry of Environment Lands and Agriculture Development (MELAD) staff and administration, in particular Environment & Conservation Division (ECD) in overseeing and coordinating implementation of the Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation and Management programs including implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategies and Actions Plan at all levels of society in Kiribati. Without their support and dedication, the completion of this report would not be possible.
Our sincere thanks also to all members of the National Biodiversity Planning Committee for their time and productive contributions to all biodiversity related projects, in particular their contributions to relevant information rendered to the development and completion of this 4th National Report. Additionally, we would like to acknowledge the participations and contributions of grassroots communities of all outer islands visited in sharing relevant information that are useful to this cause.


ALD – Agriculture and Livestock Division

CBD – Convention on Biological Diversity

CROP agencies – Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific

ECD – Environment and Conservation Division

EEZ – Exclusive Economic Zone

EIA – Environmental Impact Assessment

ENSO – El Nino/La Nina Southern Oscillation

EYC- Environmental Youth Club

GEF – Global Environment Facility

GPS – Global Positioning System

ISME – International Society for Mangrove Ecosystem

KANGO – Kiribati Association of Non Governmental Organization

KAP II – Kiribati Adaptation Project Phase II

KDP – Kiribati Development Plan

KOIL- Kiribati Oil Company Limited

KPA – Key Policy Area

KTO – Kiribati Tourism Office

MCTTD – Ministry of Communication, Transport and Tourism Development

MDG – Millennium Development Goals

MELAD – Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Division

MEA – Multi-lateral Environment Agreement

MFMRD – Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource Development

MOP – Ministerial Operational Plan

MPA – Marine Protected Areas

NBSAP – National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

NGOs – Non-governmental Organization

NDS – National Development Strategy

OUV – Outstanding Universal Value

PIPA – Phoenix Islands Protected Area

POWPA – Programme of Work on Protected Areas

SOPAC- South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission

SPREP – Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Programme

UNEP – United Nation Environment Programme

WHC – World Heritage Committee

Executive Summary

This fourth national report to the CBD is compiled by Environment and Conservation Division (ECD) of Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development (MELAD) to meet Kiribati’s international reporting obligations under the CBD. ECD is the environment authority responsible for the conservation and management of Kiribati’s environment for sustainable development. It is also responsible for fulfilling the environment portfolio of MELAD at national level.

The status, trends and threats of Kiribati’s biodiversity are summarized in this report. It also illustrated how biodiversity conservation and management are mainstreamed across different sectors to effectively address different biodiversity conservation and management issues.
Significant progresses have been made since the finalization and endorsement of the first National Biodiversity Strategies Actions Plan (NBSAP) in 2007. These reflect Government of Kiribati’s commitment to achieving the three objectives of the CBD and fulfilling national obligations as a CBD Party. These include some of the following.
The recognition and inclusion of the environment as one of the key policy areas under the Kiribati Development Plan (KDP) 2008 – 2011. Under this policy area, the conservation and management of biodiversity amongst other environmental issues is recognized as a national development planning issue. Furthermore, is the announcement and declaration of the Phoenix Islands Protected Areas (PIPA) as first, the world’s third largest marine protected area at the Eighth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological (CBD COP8) held in Brazil in 2006. Since January 2008, the expansion and full legal establishment of PIPA covering a total area of 408,250 km2 has resulted in PIPA as the world’s largest MPA. The PIPA represents 11.7% of the Kiribati total Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It also represents 17% of the global area of MPAs currently designated worldwide.
Additionally, since July 2010, the PIPA was inscribed as a World Heritage Site. As an MPA, it consists of the last intact coral reef species and ecosystems, important seamounts and vast variety of marine species still yet to be fully explored. A high level of endemism is suspected within this site and its pristine status gives PIPA an unquestionable Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Another important milestone is the amendment of the Environment Act 1999 in 2007 to include, among others, conservation provisions including ‘Protected Species’ & ‘Protected Areas’ regulations. This legislation includes and integrates to some extent, elements of both the Convention on Biological Diversity and other related biodiversity Multi-Environment Agreements such as the World Heritage Convention.
The Government of Kiribati is continually engaged with implementation of several biodiversity related projects such as the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (POWPA phase I and II), turtle tagging and monitoring project, the Ramsar Convention Small Grants Programme – North Tarawa Ramsar Project small grants at national level, Invasive Alien Species (IAS) eradication and control including bio-security related projects undertaken in Kiritimati island, within the Line Group and in the PIPA within the Phoenix Group. Altogether, the implementation of these projects contributes also to meeting the three objectives of the CBD.
However, despite these, there are still constraints impeding further progresses toward achieving the CBD 2010 Targets. These include limited financial and human resources; limited capacity; lack of technology; limited data; limited and insufficient effective awareness raising to all levels of society in Kiribati; limited coordination, integration and cooperation amongst line ministries and sectors; environment legislation gaps, to name a few. These constraints are continually addressed through existing and available resources of the biodiversity and wildlife conservation and management programme at MELAD and national government levels.
Last but not least, Kiribati recognizes and promotes the practice of traditional knowledge and practices and integrates these in the management and conservation of biodiversity. Since time immemorial, the people of Kiribati have strong traditional links and connections with nature, in particular the biodiversity-based resources that support local livelihoods within their surrounding environment. This link and connections are vital element in natural resources conservation and sustainable development.
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