INSPIRE, Invasive SPecies management for Resilient Ecosystems
Amount of funding:
€ 5 million (€ 3,5 million Kiwa funding, €1,5 million secured as co-financing)
Type of NbS:
Management / Protection of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems - Restoration / Rehabilitation of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems
Food security - Water resource availability and quality - Human health - Socio-economic resilience - Reduction of invasive alien species - Biodiversity conservation
Islands have suffered disproportionately from invasive species, accounting for half to two-thirds of all species extinctions. The eradication, suppression and prevention of invasive species as a Nature-based Solution (NbS) protects and regenerates biodiversity and restores ecosystem services, while improving the livelihoods of local communities through better access to food and natural resources, improved health and wellbeing, and enhanced opportunities for economic development.
The Kiwa Initiative INSPIRE project will link the management of invasive species and other threats at five key sites in Fiji, French Polynesia, Palau and Samoa through a new regional ecosystem resilience learning network. In doing so, it will bridge the spatial divide with peer-to-peer learning among Pacific countries and local communities and create stronger and more efficient capacity building to improve regional resilience to climate change impacts. Further, the project will support effective policy development for NbS in the Pacific region, and influence NbS policy and implementation internationally.
Invasive species are a key threat to marine and terrestrial biodiversity and the livelihoods of Pacific Island communities. To date more than 1,500 Pacific Island species (many of which are endangered single island endemics) are threatened by invasive species. They also directly impacted subsistence and commercial agriculture, forestry, and infrastructure, in addition to indirectly impacting underlying ecosystem services and functions and the cultural practices of communities. Such impacts will continue to be further exacerbated with climate change, affecting the resilience of ecosystems, biodiversity, and communities.
The most significant impact of invasive species on island ecosystem is their cumulative, and often synergistic, negative effect on ecosystem resilience, often leading to the extinction of multiple species and “ecosystem collapse”. There are also socio-economic impacts associated which include reduced security, reduced income generation opportunities from negative impacts on ecosystem services, pollution of water supplies and plant, consume and contaminate human food crops, animal and human disease transmission, among others.
There is evidence of the linkages between invasive species and climate change is substantial and growing. The Pacific Invasives Initiative has concluded that “A crucial part of Pacific island adaptation to climate change will be to reduce pressures on ecosystems, such as those caused by invasive species. Adaptation to climate change requires increased efforts to prevent new invasions and to eradicate or control existing invasives.”
The local communities located at our five project sites have already voiced their concerns regarding the impacts of invasive species and climate change on their livelihoods to our BirdLife International national Partner. There has never been a more urgent time to address this growing problem in the Pacific.
The objective of the project?
Kiwa INSPIRE’s objective is to enhance and mainstream invasive species management for climate change adaptation in priority biodiversity sites in the Pacific (specifically in Samoa, Palau, Fiji, and French Polynesia). The project will be implemented through 3 operational components:
- Implementing - Establishment of project teams and engagement of local stakeholders in biosecurity and invasive species management at the selected sites.
- Learning - Establishment of national and regional peer-learning networks for island ecosystem resilience through invasive species management
- Influencing - Influencing the development of key local, national and, regional strategies, policies and emerging opportunities to mainstream IAS management Nature-based Solutions.
Reduction of gender discriminations
BirdLife is committed to supporting and promoting the realisation of human rights within the scope of our conservation programmes. . Our project partners are well attuned to social inequalities within their respective communities and already carry out numerous projects that either incorporate, or specifically address gender considerations in natural resource management. Our approach enables our project partners and the people who live in those communities to set their own priorities based on the issues they believe is most pressing.
To understand the gender challenges in each site, a gender-differentiated analysis will be carried out at project inception to understand the different roles of women and men and consider their implications for conservation and natural resources management within the five-project sites. We will use these insights to engage and build relationships with local organizations who focus on women’s empowerment, gender intersectionality, and social disabilities, to better clarify gender-related issues and collaborate to strengthen gender and social inclusion components on existing activities in the project.
Prior to the implementation phase, a detailed monitoring and evaluation plan will include intersectional gender and socio-economic indicators providing an initial gender analysis across the project localities. This analysis will guide activity implementation, ensuring gender equity on activity participation and decision-making processes to strengthen gender-sensitivity across all project sites.
The project will engage with a gender equity specialist throughout the entire project, and lead the gender-differentiated analysis, gender-based activities and the gender component within the monitoring and evaluation plan including supporting project Partner capacity. Working alongside the monitoring and evaluation specialist and local communities, they will identify gender-related issues (e.g. gender based violence) through a combination of community consultations and workshops, gender-analysis, and implement gender equity and social inclusion principles throughout all activities.
Pasifika Peoples and Communities with high dependencies on limited natural resources, food security, livelihoods, and cultural traditions (medicinal plants and wild foods) are particularly vulnerable to major climatic events. Additional pressure on these natural resources add to (already) unsustainable environmental practices and other social disruptions including those associated with increased urban migration as people seek alternative income opportunities. Pacific Island resilience to climate change is compromised by invasive alien specias (IAS) as they alter the structure and composition of native and agricultural ecosystems, negatively impact food production, reduce opportunities for economic development through trade, and impose additional health burdens on island governments and communities.
Diverse ecosystems are more likely to be resilient to climate change impacts such as increased natural disasters and disease outbreaks than are modified, more simple ecosystems dominated by fewer species. By reducing ecosystem complexity and diversity, invasive species magnify the impacts of climate change on natural and agricultural ecosystems. Climate change will have direct and second order impacts that facilitate the introduction, establishment and/or spread of invasive species, increasing the vulnerability of ecosystems to other climate-related stressors and reduce their potential to sequester greenhouse gases.
Through the improved management of IAS, the restoration of habitats and the implementation of sustainable land use management practices the project will contribute to making ecosystems more resilient to climate change. There is no doubts that a healthy biodiversity is the key to tackling climate change, especially in island nations whose livelihoods and culture are so intrinsically connected to nature. The Pacific cultural heritage and tradition are shaped by the interaction between people and nature – a healthy biodiversity will ensure the protection of these values and norms that have been sustained by past generations.