The remote nature of islands results in a high rate of endemism (i.e. the percentage of animal or plant species that do not exist anywhere else), up to 9.5 times higher than continental areas. this remarkable biodiversity, whose future is intimately linked to that of human communities, is however fragile. islands host 40% of threatened and particularly endangered species. The loss of biodiversity on islands is linked to various phenomena, primarily to biological invasions, reinforced by the absence of predators or parasites for certain species, the reduced size and range of distribution of certain populations and the low connectivity with neighbouring ecosystems, but also the destruction and fragmentation of habitats, the overexploitation of certain resources (including fisheries) and the polluting of strategic ecosystems such as man-groves, seagrass beds, etc.
Climate change exacerbates these phenomena and undermines the resilience of islands and island communities (i.e. their ability to recover from external disruptions): as they are geographically isolated, small islands are more often exposed to extreme climatic events, which are likely to degrade ecosystems of primary importance to local species. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation directly affect islanders, who often highly depend on natural resources and ecosystem service
THEREFORE, PARTNERS MUST AT LEAST:
- Improve knowledge of habitats, marine and terrestrial species (inventories), their evolution, and insure regular monitoring of key species. these measures will integrate fields that value local knowledge such as ethnobotany and ethno-ecology. observing and monitoring measures will involve inhabitants and users (fishermen, farmers, even tourists).
- Publishing scientific outreach and mediation guides for decision-makers, local administrators, users, and organisers of local awareness raising events/initiatives.
- Making visitors aware by informing them before or as soon as they arrive on the island of “good practices” to be respected.
AND PROGRESSIVELY AIM TO:
- Support only non-conventional agriculture and cultivating systems (agro-ecology, organic farming, permaculture), promoting agrobiodiversity, eliminate all phytosanitary products used on the island, and used on boats in harbours, mooring and at sea, first by controlling their sale on the island and by raising awareness among users to ensure the good ecological condition of
soils, groundwater and food consumed.
- Particularly promote fishing techniques that are non-destructive to marine environments to ensure sound state of fish stocks. fight against all forms of pollution related to human activities, both on land and at sea.
- If the island welcomes or has the vocation to welcome visitors, support only quality, green tourism, mobilising local communities, and enhancing biodiversity and remarkable ecosystems, thanks to well-maintained, marked and informative trails, adapted to control the flow of visitors (stairs, paths, barriers, adequate signage, etc.), promoting, if relevant, quality craftsmanship, hotel infrastructure adapted to the size of the island and respectful of their natural
environments and strict access regulations for tourists.
- Carry out ecological engineering and restoration operations to promote resilience, “restore” natural habitat destruction, and reduce the effects of climate change.
- Prohibit terrestrial and marine invasive species on the island and control and/or eradicate them.