The world’s highest concentration of coastal marine biodiversity and endemism can be found in the Western Pacific, and the majority of people living in the island nations of the Western Pacific are concentrated in those same coastal zones. Millions of people rely on the health and diversity of these corals, fish, invertebrates, mangroves, and seagrasses for their commercial livelihood, nutrition, cultural beliefs, and protection from storms and natural disasters.
Unfortunately, industrial activities, population growth, the spread of aquaculture, underfunded and sometimes unreliable governing systems, overfishing by commercial fleets and subsistence fishermen, destructive fishing techniques, rising sea temperatures, and upland farming have all contributed to growing pressure on the coastal zones of these Western Pacific nations.
The Western Pacific subprogram is dedicated to the long-term conservation and responsible stewardship of critical coastal habitats and resources in the region, with a particular focus on eastern Indonesia, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. The subprogram is committed to helping people develop the knowledge, skills, and institutions needed to conserve these coastal ecosystems, and the sustainable livelihood and health of those who rely upon them.
Since 1998, the Packard Foundation has supported dozens of local efforts seeking to slow, stop, or reverse the decline in overall habitat health and in the populations of associated marine species. We provide funds for site-based conservation, skills exchange, public education, and media coverage.
Specifically, the Foundation’s grantmaking efforts support:
• The effective management and long-term sustainability of marine-protected area networks (both large-scale, science-driven initiatives as well as smaller, community-driven and identified networks)
• An increase in the number of individuals with the skills and experiences needed to improve durable marine resource management, and
• Initiatives that encourage both children and adults to learn, decide, and act to conserve coastal marine ecosystems.