This theme focusses on the fact that biodiversity provides vital support for human well-being and economic development.  In the Pacific region, biodiversity and ecosystem services have contributed to economic growth, although this growth, in turn, has had many negative impacts on biodiversity.  Aspirationally, economic development and biodiversity conservation when undertaken in a balanced approach will support sustainable livelihoods, cultural heritage, knowledge and expressions, and community resilience and development.

The challenges are many in achieving the balance between economic development and nature conservation within the Pacific, and these are shaped by peoples’ values for nature, current value systems,competing priorities sometime within the context of limited available land, a lack of compliance and enforcement, short-term visions focussed on development over long-term sustainable development and associated political will, and needing to close the divide that still exists between development and biodiversity conservation.

The conference will look to explore a range of examples, principles and best practice approaches that have been successful, have challenged and caused change, and that are sensitive to Pacific cultures and traditions.  Analysis will focus on what has worked and lessons learnt, and challenges faced.  However, what is the approach for the future to drive behavioural change, ownership of actions and to inspire an environment valued approach to development and biodiversity and ecosystem services?

Stakeholders involved in this thematic are diverse ranging from society as a whole, youth, decision makers, consumers, non-government agencies, community leaders, church groups, and industry.  The links between nature and people leaves no-one out.

Key questions exist around mainstreaming nature conservation into policies and across sectors, including into the private sector.  What tools exist for promoting sustainable development, how to operationalise nature-based solutions and green infrastructure into planning, development and investment?  How can incentives, including those promoted through the Nagoya Protocol under the Convention on Biological Diversity help to incentivise conservation through benefit sharing arrangements related to traditional knowledge and genetic resources.

  • Economic development and biodiversity conservation recognise and support sustainable livelihoods, cultural heritage, knowledge and expressions, and community resilience and development aspirations - Objective 2 -Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific Islands 2014-2020
  • Aichi Biodiversity Targets 2,3,4,6,7,8, and 18 of the Convention on Biological Diversity