PEIN Country Profile and Virtual Environment Library
Polynesia - Pacific (Oceania)
Tokelauan, Samoan, English
National Focal Points for Environment:
Office of the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau
From the 'COUNCIL FOR THE ONGOING GOVERNMENT FOR TOKELAU' website:
Tokelau consists of three atolls located about 483 km north of Western Samoa. Atafu is the northernmost atoll, 92 km north of Nukunonu, which in turn lies 64 km north of Fakaofo. Each atoll consist of a number of reef-bound islets (motu) encircling a lagoon. The islets vary in size from 90 m to 6 km in length and from a few metres to 200 metres in width. The largest atoll is Nukunonu at 4.7 sq km. Fakaofo and Atafu are 4 sq km and 3.5 sq km respectively. From Atafu in the north to Fakaofo in the south, the group extends for just under 200 km. The atolls are three to five metres above sea level. Tokelau has a total land area of approximately 12 sq km. The reef extends only a short distance from the shore then drops sharply into deep waters. Each of three atolls has its own administrative centre.
Land use. The shortage of natural resources has been the major factor encouraging migration. Practically all land is held by customary title. The Tokelau Islands Amendment Act 1967 provides that Tokelauans may dispose of custom land among themselves but may not alienate land to non-indigenes. Land holdings pass from generation to generation within families, usually being held by the head of a closely-related family group although some land is held in common. A reserve fund of $60,000 is maintained for sea wall projects which protect existing facilities and land from storm damage.
Climate. The mean average temperature is 28 deg C. July is the coolest month and May the warmest. From April to November the east-southeasterly trade winds dominate climatic conditions. Rainfall is heavy but irregular.
Flora & fauna. Poor soil quality and rapid drainage result in low fertility except in areas where efforts have been made to improve soil composition. Coconut and pandanus are the most common plant species although other species common to central Polynesia are found in smaller numbers. Staple food crops include bananas, papaya, taro and breadfruit. Migratory seabirds are common visitors to these atolls. Otherwise rats and lizards are common along with domesticated pigs and poultry. Mosquitoes infest the undergrowth.
Excerpt from United Nations Development Programme Country Programme Action Plans [CPAP] 2008-2012
2.3.1 Tokelau is particularly vulnerable to adverse environmental conditions. The rebuilding of
seawalls, the development of renewable sources of energy, waste management plans and
strategies, water and marine conservation are some of its most urgent needs where some
assistance has been channeled in the past by NZAID, UNDP, SPC and SPREP, and will be
continued as required. NZAID has pledged to make available in 2008/2010 funds to implement a
three-year programme to address infrastructure needs, as prioritised by Tokelau; such as
upgrading of school and hospital buildings, ship-to-shore, including reef channels and handling
equipment. Further, Tokelau’s recent membership of the Forum Fisheries Agency will provide
the Territory with additional valuable assistance in the management of its marine environment.
Excerpts from World Summit on Sustainable Development National Assessment Report 
CHAPTER 3: NATURAL and ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS
REVIEW COMPONENT: A small country like Tokelau will suffer proportionately more damage
from a single natural disaster than a larger country, which can absorb more due to the economies of scale. Tropical storms and cyclones with accompanying storm waves are a continuing concern for Tokelau, especially during the hurricane season. Droughts are also a problem. While estimates of sealevel rises are disputed among climatologists and have been revised downward in the past few decades, it appears that the frequency of storms (cyclones) and the rises in air and sea temperatures are more of a direct result of the effects of global warming. Of the three major cyclones that have hit Tokelau in the past ten years, Tusi (1987), Ofa (1990) and Val (1991), Ofa was the worst in living memory. Storms and cyclones, depending upon their severity, can cause severe coastal erosion, damage fresh water lenses, increase soil salinity, destroy a significant proportion of agricultural and forest resources in the short term and decrease productivity of crops like coconuts, breadfruits and pandanus in the long term. Furthermore, disruptions to fresh water lenses can further adversely modify the marine ecology, biodiversity, and the fishing potential of adjacent lagoons and reefs.
CHAPTER 4: MANAGEMENT OF WASTES
REVIEW COMPONENT: A little more than half of Tokelau households build ‘sea latrines’ over
the lagoon behind their houses (51%); others have flush toilets (40%) or pour-flush toilets (9%). By atoll, most ‘sea latrines’ are found on Atafu and Nukunonu. Fakaofo households use mostly flush or pour-flush toilets installed inside their dwellings. Disposal of sewage from households with pour or flush toilets is generally by septic tanks. There is currently no adequate drainage system in place, so that disinfectants, solvents, bleaches and detergents are discharged into the ground.
A recent development initiative involves the introducing of composting toilets, which help to reduce
pollution, eliminate the human waste problem, and create a resource. The project is being trialed by Eco-Tour Samoa with funding from SPREP. It is being implemented through the local Village Council. The first four toilets were installed in April 1998 on Nukunonu at the Women’s Committee house, public school and two other private residences. Other composting toilets will soon be installed on the other two atolls on a trial basis for a year. The benefits of composting toilets include the conservation of precious rainwater, the production of much needed fertilizer, and prevention of further seepage of sewage into the lagoons, which has contributed to the problems of nitrification. These toilets are still quite expensive. The model currently being tried costs NZ$2,500. However, a less expensive model is currently being considered that costs around
NZ$1,400 with a three year warranty on defective parts.
Waste Disposal: With limited land area and increases in the quantity of both recyclable and nonrecyclable garbage, Tokelau is faced with a problem of how to best manage it. Currently, there is an attempt to bury garbage or dump it in secluded areas on selected islets. Some material is being composted, used for animal feed or burned. Other wastes are dumped into the receding tide only to end up back on shore. Empty beer bottles are usually returned to Apia; however, one type, which is not accepted for recycling, is often dumped into the ocean. There are no adequate facilities for the disposal of toxic wastes, batteries, hospital and other chemical wastes. These are usually buried, with the risk of their eventual leakage into the lagoon. Of all the atolls, Nukunonu has the best-organized garbage collection system in which the majority of the households participate (98.6%). For Nukunonu, it has served to keep the living environment free of garbage and minimized that which is thrown into the ocean.
CHAPTER 5: COASTAL and MARINE RESOURCES
REVIEW COMPONENT: Marine Resources: It is generally recognized that Tokelau’s greatest
asset is in its natural marine resources. Tokelau’s fisheries are made up of an inshore lagoon fishery, reef fishery and an abundant offshore pelagic fish and deep-ocean fishery. It has been reported that up to 55% of all animal protein consumed in the atolls is from reef, migratory, and shellfish (UNDP unpublished report).
CHAPTER 6: FRESHWATER RESOURCES
REVIEW COMPONENT: Fresh water is very limited on all the atolls, although some is retained in
lenses underlying a number of the larger islets. As there is no surface water, Tokelauans have been dependent on rainwater storage and wells tapping these ‘freshwater’ lenses. However, the lenses are thin and are affected by the rate of extraction. They are also vulnerable to natural influences of rainfall, tides, seepage and evapotranspiration. The intermixing of seawater with the freshwater lenses most recently caused by Cyclone Ofa has resulted in brackish ground water that is unfit for consumption. The continuing salination of the soil and groundwater with the storm over-wash could increase to the point where the atolls would no longer be able to support food production. In addition to subsidizing housing, the Tokelau government also supports a program to increase the water catchment’s capacity in all three communities. There are no large communal backup reservoirs, which can pose a problem in prolonged droughts. Due to the limited village land areas, more families have been constructing reservoirs into the foundations of their houses. In a 1991 survey, it was determined that only 25% of the water caught from roofs was actually being stored in existing reservoirs. Given average monthly rainfall, the existing roof catchment could provide an estimated 100 liters per person per day. However, the existing water tank capacity was only holding an average of 30 liters per person per day. More can be done to increase the overall supply of water by increasing the storage capacity. The quality of catchment water, however, is high, with 99% of the water recording bacterial counts well below the acceptable level Institutional Framework [Please refer to Section 1B]
CHAPTER 7: LAND RESOURCES
REVIEW COMPONENT: Geography: Tokelau is a small tropical country located in the central
pacific region between 80 and 100 latitudes and 1710 and 1730 west longitudes and just outside the South Pacific equatorial dry zone. The country consists of three small atolls aligned from the northwest to the southeast (Atafu, Nukunonu, and Fakaofo). The three atolls are comprised of a total of 127 islets (motu), which cover a total land area of only 12.7 sq. km. (arable land equaling approximately Atafu=223 ha; Nukunonu=546 ha; Fakaofo=290 ha. respectfully). The islets range in size and number between each atoll (Atafu=42; Nukunonu=24; Fakaofo=61). The motus vary in length from 90m to 6km and in width from only a few metres to 200m. No point anywhere on any of the atolls reaches higher than 5m above sea level. The atolls are approximately 480 km. north of Samoa (the country’s main shipping connection and port of usage) with each atoll being separated by an expanse of ocean [Fakaofo -Nukunonu = 38 nm/70.4 km; Nukunonu-Atafu = 59 nm/109.3 km.] The total area of the inner lagoons for the three atolls is estimated at 187 sq. km.
Geology and Soils: The atolls are composed of calcium carbonate reef, sands, and rock. The soils are generally characterized as being highly alkaline, highly porous, nutrient poor and as having low humus content with a high surface salinity. Soils within Tokelau are considered as one of the country’s major restricting factors especially in relation to land-based agricultural development. Because of the nature of Tokelau’s soils the country’s current agricultural economy is limited to a subsistence level.
Land Based and Agricultural Resources: Cultivated food crops are generally limited to breadfruit
(Artocarpus altilis), giant swamp taro ‘pulaka’ (Cyrtosperma chamissonis); taro palagi (Xanthosoma
sagittifolium); giant taro (Alocasia macrorrihizos); bananas (Mus sp. [2 varieties]); papaya (Carica
papaya); pandanus ‘fala’ (Pandanus ordoratissimus); pumpkin; and coconut (Cocos nucifera).
CHAPTER 8: ENERGY RESOURCES
REVIEW COMPONENT: The majority of Tokelauan households (86%) uses kerosene stoves for
cooking and are connected to community generators (97%) for their main source of lighting. The
increase in the numbers of dwellings over the years has a consequence with respect to space.
CHAPTER 10: BIODIVERSITY RESOURCES
REVIEW COMPONENT: Environmental Ecology and Biota: The atolls themselves have a
relatively species-poor ecosystem. The atolls have been described (by others) as being, generally low in both plant and animal diversity. Although this may be expected on such a remote and insular atoll environment, the further degradation and/or loss of the limited biodiversity is highly cautioned. Throughout the atolls biodiversity is highly valued by the Tokelauans and is currently a matter of concern to each atoll’s village community. In Tokelau it is reported that there are only 67 species of vascular plants (including 16 “naturalized” weed and 13 introduced species). None of the islands (islets or motu) remain today with totally undisturbed vegetation. This is mainly the result of the country’s limited land resources for agriculture activities. Coconut is now the predominant tree species on most of the islands with the under-story of the upper palm canopy comprising of native trees, shrubs, and fern species. Perhaps the most significant ecological work ever carried out in Tokelau was that of Kazimierz Wodzicki dating back to late 60’s (on rats and other vertebrates) and that of Wodzicki and Laird in 1970 (on birds and bird lore). The terrestrial fauna of Tokelau is mainly comprised of bird species with at least a total of 26 species listed all of which are non-endemic and several of which are migratory transients. In Tokelau it is reported that there are 15 species of sea birds, 8 species of shore birds, and 3 land species (Wodzicki, K. and Laird, M., 1970). The populations of locally breeding species (particularly Noddies, Terns and Pigeons) are also a matter of concern (SOE Tokelau, 1994). The Polynesian Rat (Rattus exulans) is reported as the only native terrestrial mammal apart from human beings and the other currently introduced domestic animals (e.g. cats only) and livestock (pigs and chickens). Wodzicki (1968), Harrison (1973), Bonin (1988), all confirmed the exclusive presence of the Polynesian Rat in their earlier surveys. As far back as 32 years ago again Wodzicki (1968) warned of the need for a strengthened quarantine process and measures to avoid the accidental introduction of
other pests particularly that of other rodent pests (e.g. R. rattus, R. norvegicus, Mus musculus).
Wodzicki, 1967 correctly warned that R. rattus could easily arrive to the Tokelau shores via visiting
“rat-infested” ships (see also interesting stories about the kimoa). Wodzicki’s report also cited a
comment from a “reliable source” that a mouse (presumably M. musculus) was seen in one of the
prefabricated houses as it was being assembled ashore. However, none of these possible invaders has been seen since.
Environmental Assessment: There has been no comprehensive assessment in recent years of the status of endangered species (plant or animal) on the atolls. However, it is generally recognized that several species are in “decline”. Of particular concern are several timber species ‘Kanava’ (Cordia subcordata); ‘Puapua’ (Guetarda speciosa); ‘Puka’ (Pisonia grandis); and ‘Fala’ (Pandanus sp. var.‘Kiekie’). A significant reduction in some of these species was the result of over harvesting and exploitation for local building and handicraft materials; however, the over-zealous clearing for coconut replanting schemes has also been cited as a factor for the depletion of some of the atolls forest areas in the past.
* Excerpt from the Tokelau National Strategic Plan 2010-2015
Tokelau is very vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise owing partly to its small land mass surrounded by ocean, and its location in a region prone to natural disasters. The impacts of climate change which are expected in Tokelau can be summarised as follows:
a) Climate change is expected to affect the physical and biological characteristics of the coastal areas, modifying the ecosystem structure and functioning. This will affect near-shore marine and coastal areas, many wetlands and mangroves and other trees by changes in sea level and storm surges.
b) Climate variability and intensification of cyclones and storm surges pose a significant threat to the sustainable development of Tokelau.
c) The longer spells of hot weather and increasing periods of no rain experienced as a result of the variability of the weather has impacted on the supply of water and has consequences on the water storage systems.
d) The hotter temperatures, causing coral bleaching, have also affected the quantity and quality of fish supply from the in-shore coastal areas. Species diversity loss has also been problem.
e) The potential economic impact of climate change on Tokelau is very high.
Environment sustainability is critical for a fragile ecosystem such as Tokelau. In 2003, Tokelau endorsed Bio-security Rules to acknowledge and address the challenges in regard to the environment. The villages have continued to support this issue by declaring protected areas covering both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. A National Waste Management Strategic Plan was endorsed in 2007 and the Government of Tokelau and Samoa signed a Waste Management MOU which looks at reducing waste in Tokelau. Villages have their respective waste programmes that interface with the national initiative. Village programmes include: waste champions in each village for day to day management; the Community Resource Centres (CRCs) are at varying stages of being operational; awareness raising programmes; solid waste rubbish dumping sites in place; recycling arrangements in place; and the ongoing village cleaning days. The dumping of waste is still an issue both on land and at sea primarily due to lack of land space and leaching. Concerns continue to be raised in the village in regard to the presence of shipwrecks and their effect on surrounding sea-life. Waste management is so important that it is dealt with specifically in the next section.
Coastal protection by way of seawalls is at varying degrees of completion on each of the three atolls with work to date being focused at the most vulnerable areas of the villages. There needs to be more information provided in regard to the guidelines for using natural resources wisely and how to take care of our fragile environment. The call for a coordinated and collaborative approach towards the use of land and marine resources is urgent as Tokelau endeavours to deal with the impacts of climate change. Laws to prohibit the practice of sand mining and coral mining for construction are needed to conserve these fast diminishing and vital resources. By-laws to guard against sea-pollution practices and regular maintenance of outboard motors have also been recommended by villages. Tokelau is also reviewing and redeveloping its Climate Change Policy in keeping with its stance on promoting practices which minimise the emission of greenhouse gases, and establishing an adaption programme to enhance its resilience to the impacts of climate change.
• To enhance resilience to immediate and long-term threats to the people of Tokelau and her economies and ecosystems;
• To reduce the impact that extreme weather and climate change has on the three villages;
• To enact laws and guidelines for using natural resources wisely.
• To explore and adopt a comprehensive, integrated approach to climate change risk management that provides timely information, products and services, such as understanding patterns and trends of cyclone frequency and intensity;
• To ensure that Tokelau is fully included as part of the New Zealand (Ministry for Environment) climate change adaptation and mitigation work programme;
• To improve access to short-term weather forecasts and seasonal climate predictions;
• To access information specific to Tokelau on how the climate and sea-level may change in the future for each community and implications for such changes;
• To integrate extreme weather and climate change-related considerations into our national planning and strategy documents, community infrastructure development, village planning and activities;
• To complete seawall, housing and water storage projects and ensure maintenance of structures over time;
• To increase awareness of weather extremes and climate change-related issues and how it affects all members of the community;
• To identify and implement appropriate village level activities to reduce the impacts that climate change will have on Tokelau;
• To develop and implement laws prohibiting sand-mining and coral mining for construction;
• To undertake assessment to identify areas where sand deposits are sustainable for utilisation.
Climate Change Policy in keeping with its stance on promoting practices which minimise the emission of greenhouse gases, and establishing an adaption programme to enhance its resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Waste management is a serious environmental problem for Tokelau which was highlighted in the Tokelau Environmental Management Strategy (TEMS, 1995). The areas covered by the TEMS include the pollution of the freshwater lens, pollution of the coastal water, solid waste accumulation and hazardous waste and chemicals as well as oil spillage in Tokelauan waters. The Tokelau Environmental Legislation Review, 1993, highlights the lack of and need for legislation in environmental matters and in particular the need to regulate the importation of non-biodegradable products and packaging.
A national waste management strategic plan was endorsed in 2007 and each village developed its own waste management plan as a consequence. A MOU with Samoa was signed to supplement the national plan, whereby recyclable and solid waste was able to be transported to Samoa. In each village, waste champions were identified for day to day management of waste and the Community Resource Centres (CRCs) are at varying stages of being operational. The initial awareness raising programme has encouraged most families to sort their rubbish into recyclable and solid waste before collection.
Dumping of waste on land or at sea continues to be an issue, primarily due to the shortage of land area for a rubbish dump. The shipwreck on Fakaofo continues to leak waste into the lagoon and contaminates the food supply close to this site. Recent study findings in 20036 suggest that significant waste and pollution from village(s) are added to the lagoon waters which is often exacerbated with the low rate of water exchanges between the open ocean and lagoon. Consequently, solid waste and sewage remain in the lagoon for longer periods due to low outflow flushing.
A rapid assessment of marine species7 was also included in the study. It linked the cause of decline for particular fish species, which are not only prone to over-harvesting but also coral bleaching. As a direct result, coral degradation by waste contamination damages the health of coral ecosystem and reefs and presents a grave concern for the survival of the atolls8. Anecdotal evidence from interviews9 in 2003 showcase concerns of communities on the decline of fish such as atule, maeava (rabbit fish), tonu (red coral trout), uluakata (giant travelly) and atu (skipjack).
The efforts of individuals and groups such as waste champions for the villages would be strengthened with the development and implementation of policies and regulations. Issues such as waste management at the source of imports, such as non-biodegradable items, cleaning up historical solid waste and procedures for eliminating old plant and equipment which lay rusting in the villages could be addressed by such policies. Another very important aspect is raising the level of awareness amongst all villagers about the impact of waste on the health of individuals and the environment. There is a need for different sectors to work together with all villages to take responsible actions to minimise the importation of waste into Tokelau as well as managing the removal of waste in a safe manner.
• To keep Tokelau clean and as much as possible free from solid waste;
• To improve public awareness of the environmental, economic and social impact of waste;
• To plan for a decrease in the importation of packaged goods.
• To develop and implement waste management policies and regulations;
• To review and implement sustainable waste management plans throughout all villages which address waste importation and waste disposal;
• To identify a national focal position designated to have carriage for the waste initiative and manage all consultations;
• To develop and implement a consultation programme to explore community support for the various strategies for the effective management of waste;
• To incorporate waste management information and systems into the Tokelau school curricula.
DISASTER RISK REDUCTION
The Tokelau Emergency Plan (TEP) is in place whereby each village has their own individualised plan though these are specific to cyclones only. Tokelau’s size, fragility and remoteness mean that disaster risk reduction is a critical area that needs urgent attention. Tokelau’s vulnerability to natural disasters may increase in the future due to the effects of climate change. This is already evident with increased coastal erosion, storm surges and inundation as the sea level rises. The intensity and frequency of cyclones could also increase in which case disaster reduction measures are of a more urgent concern.
Villages have carried out work for coastal protection by way of seawall construction and maintenance. These are at varying degrees of completion with current work in the villages being focused on the most vulnerable locations. However, to mitigate the effects of water inundation and flooding during times of cyclones, the seawall projects do need to be completed and maintained. Resilience to the adverse effects of climate change can be addressed through comprehensive costal management and adaptation programmes for all villages and other activities and policies such as energy efficient building design and the use of renewable energy to meet our power demands.
A review of the current TEP will need to be completed to ensure that it covers a wider range of disasters other than cyclones. Other issues which also need to be integrated into the TEP are better linkages with meteorological services so that warning times for approaching bad weather conditions are improved; and a plan for evacuation of villagers the circumstances require.
• To review and update the TEP to address the scope of disasters likely to occur for a small ‘island’ nation such as Tokelau;
• To strengthen the capacity to manage and respond to natural disasters and effects of climate change through systematic adaptation activities;
• To review and if necessary improve legislation to encompass disaster risk management;
• To develop safety at sea policy and procedures;
• To develop fire risk management policy and procedures;
• To review and if necessary improve emerging telecommunication arrangements, including radio;
• To strengthen warning system.
• To review current TEP to include strategies covering a wider range of disasters;
• To improve access to short-term weather forecasts and seasonal climate predictions and instigate early warning systems for pending disasters;
• To develop and establish a range of communication means to ensure functionality and availability at all times;
• To review housing development policy and construction standards to mitigate the effects of disasters due to climate change;
• To plant trees along the coastline to prevent further erosion;
• To develop and implement climate change adaptation policies and programmes;
• To develop and implement ongoing nationwide training and public awareness raising programmes including drills and exercise on disaster-management procedures, including with international partners (NZ, UNOCHR, Samoa Red Cross);
• To develop and implement ongoing safety at sea training and education programmes.
Birdlife [Avifauna] Profiles
see also Species profiles [*For the Globally Threatened Birds (those evaluated as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable), each factsheet contains a summary account, range map and an illustration, plus additional data tables. For Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Near Threatened, Least Concern and Data Deficient species, each contains a concise summary paragraph and some additional data tables.] [Birdlife International]
see also Endemic Bird Areas [EBAs] of the Pacific [incl. Aitutaki (secondary area) ; East Caroline Islands ; Fiji ; Gilbert Islands (secondary area) ; Henderson Island ; Mariana Islands ; Marquesas Islands ; Marshall Islands (secondary area) ; Nauru (secondary area) ; Niuafo‘ou (secondary area) ; Niue (secondary area) ; Northern Line Islands (secondary area) ; Palau ; Pitcairn (secondary area) ; Rapa (secondary area) ; Rimatara ; Rotuma (secondary area) ; Samoan Islands ; Society Islands ; Southern Cook Islands ; Tonga (secondary area) ; Tuamotu archipelago ; Wake Island (secondary area) ; Wallis and Futuna (secondary area) ; Yap Islands ] [Birdlife International]
see also Pacific regional overview [Birdlife International]
see also Globally Threatened Birds (those evaluated as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable) of Oceania [Birdlife International]
see also State of the World's birds website and report [Birdlife International] - including Pacific country case studies
Earthtrends Thematic Country Profiles [WRI]
Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and protected areas, Climate and atmosphere, Coastal and marine ecosystems, Economics, business and the environment, Energy and resources,Environmental governance and institutions, Forests, grasslands and drylands, Population, health and human well-being, Water resources and freshwater ecosystems.
Ecoregion Profiles [World Wildlife Fund]
Tropical Moist Forests
Western Polynesia [Tokelau, Tuvalu, Kiribati]
Environmental Vulnerability Index - Country Profiles [SOPAC / UNEP]
Fishbase Biodiversity Country Profiles (all fish)
Forestry Country Profiles
Forestry Department Country Profiles [FAO]
see also FAO Forest Resource Assessment : Country Reports 
Tokelau (2010; 42kb)
see also State of the World's Forests 2007: Asia and the Pacific [FAO] (2008; 1.77mb)
see also Tropical and subtropical forest profiles prepared by the World Wildlife Fund
see also Mongabay Rainforest profiles:
Global Biodiversity Information Forum [GBIF] Country Profiles
see also GBIF Google Earth Country Links
Global Environment Facility (GEF) Country Profiles
Use the drop down menu to go to the individual profiles - includes GEF-4 Allocation and Utilization , Approved Projects and Projects Under Preparation
Invasive Species : Country Profiles [ISSG]
Laws and legislation
see also 'Legislative reviews' in Country Reports (below)
Mangrove and Wetlands Profiles
see also: A Directory of Wetlands in Oceania 
see also: Wetlands of the Pacific Island Region (2008; 882kb)
see also: IWMI Global Wetlands - Interactive Web Map Server - includes countries of Oceania
see also: Wetlands in Oceania - country profiles and wetlands information [UNEP-WCMC] -Tokelau
Marine Resource Profiles
State of the marine environment in the South Pacific Region (1990; 3.48mb)
Reefbase Country Profiles (coral reefs, reef fish, biodiversity)
see also GIS data for corals in the Pacific from Reefbase - browse by country and reef profile
see also GIS data for marine protected areas in the Pacific from Reefbase - browse by country and ecosystem
Status of Coral Reef Systems of the World: 2008 (2008; 20mb)
MPA Global Profiles (marine protected areas database)
Pacific Biodiversity Information Forum Country Data:
Pacific Regional information System - PRISM [SPC]
Environmental and Climate Statistics
see also: Protected Areas of the Pacific Islands profiles [UNEP / WCMC]
Maps of the Pacific Islands
Wetlands in Oceania - country profiles and wetlands information - Tokelau
see also GIS data for marine protected areas in the Pacific - browse by country and ecosystem
see also MPA Global Profiles (marine protected areas database) above
SPREP Country Profiles: Exchange of Information by Members at SPREP Annual Meetings:
- Exchamge of information by Members on National Developments related to Natural Resource Management Priority of the Action Plan 
see Agenda Item 6.1: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the 18th SPREP Meeting of Officials in Apia, Samoa on 11th to 14th September 2007
- Exchange of information by Members on national developments related to Pollution Prevention priority of the SPREP Action Plan 
see Agenda Item 8.6: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the19th SPREP Annual Meeting of Officials in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia on 8–12 September 2008
- Exchange of Information by Members on National Developments Related to the Climate Change Focus Area of the SPREP Action Plan 
see Agenda Item 11.2: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the 20th SPREP Annual Meeting of Officials in Apia, Samoa on 17 - 20 November 2009
- Exchange of Information by Members on Year of Biodiversity 
see Agenda Item 11.3: Country Profiles of the Report and record of the 21st SPREP Meeting of Officials in Madang, Papua New Guinea on 6-10 September 2010
see also individual profiles for: Wallis and Futuna
Sustainable Development Profiles (UN Agenda 21)
Threatened species: Summary of species on the 2008 IUCN Red List
UNEP Country Profiles [* poorly maintained and little information available]
Water Resource Profiles [SOPAC - Pacific water - http://www.pacificwater.org/]
Cook Islands , Federated States of Micronesia , Fiji , Marshall Islands , Nauru , Niue , Palau ,Papua New Guinea , Samoa , Tonga , Tuvalu , Vanuatu
World Factbook Country Profiles [CIA]
World Ocean Database 2005 [NOAA]
Geographically sorted data for the Pacific Ocean [datasets]
see also Environmental indicators: South Pacific (UNEP: 2004; 6.23mb)
see also Polynesia / Micronesia Biodiversity Hotspot Ecosystem Profile (2007; 1.16mb)
Integrated Strategic Plans
Tokelau (2007-2010) *draft (2007; 236kb)
Tokelau (1993; 4.46mb)
National Invasive Species Strategy
see Invasive alien species in the Austral-Pacific region: national reports and directory of resources [GISP] (2002; 3.75mb)
see also Invasives Species on Pacific Islands [reports] - HEAR / PIER project website
Pacific Regional Energy Assessment: Country Reports (PIREP)
Tokelau (2004; 768kb)
Regional overview report (2004; 2.59mb)
State of the Environment Reports
Tokelau (1994; 3.94mb)
see also State of the Environment of the South Pacific 1983 (UNEP: 1983; 1.66mb)
see also State of the marine environment in the South Pacific Region (1990; 3.48mb)
see also State of the Environment of the South Pacific 2005 (2005; 382kb; see also ~http://www.unescap.org/esd/environment/soe/2005/mainpub/ ~)
see also Regional perspectives: Asia and the Pacific (UNEP, GEO-4. 2007; 382 kb)
see also the archive of SPREP Country Reports between 1980-1983 as follows:
Tokelau (1980; 150kb)
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED: Brazil, 1992)
Country Reports : Tokelau (1992; 2.32mb)
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, 1992) and the Rio Declaration highlighted the need for sustainable development-socially responsible economic development that protects the resource base and the environment for the benefit of future generations. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was one of the outcome instruments of the UNCED process, also highlights the need for conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
United Nations Development Programme Country Programme Action Plans [CPAP]:
Tokelau (2008; 773kb)
World Summit on Sustainable Development [Rio+10 - Johannesburg 2002]
National Assessment Reports:
Tokelau (2002; 207kb)
The WSSD Plan of Implementation calls for the management of the natural resources base in a sustainable and integrated manner. In this regard, to reverse the current trend in natural resource degradation as soon as possible, it is necessary to implement strategies which should include targets adopted at the national and, where appropriate, regional levels to protect ecosystems and to achieve integrated management of land, water and living resources, while strengthening regional, national and local capacities.
The Johannesburg Declaration and the Plan of Implementation arising from the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD, 2002) reconfirmed the commitment of States to advance and strengthen the interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development-economic development, social development and environmental protection-at the local, national, regional and global levels.
Reports available online from the SPREP Library and IRC database
Reports available online from SOPAC [Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission]
Reports available online from ReefBase Pacific
Multimedia - posters, videos etc
There once was an Island [Tokelau]
- Environmental refugees in the Pacific: One of the first films to record a community evacuating their home because of climate change.
Tokelau: Still Afloat on the High Seas (part 1) / (part 2)
- Tokelau - one of the most remote and beautiful islands of the Pacific -- their want, their determination, is to be a living breathing example of climate change adaptation rather than become a case-study of catastrophe.
SPREP Library and IRC collection [SLIC] - includes online full text access to a wide range of Pacific environment materials.
The Pacific Environment Information Network [PEIN] Virtual Library - full text publications from SPREP, SOPAC, SPC and other CROP agencies, Pacific govt. environment depts. , regional institutions, and NGOs active in the area of environment conservation.
SPREP's International Instruments' webpage
"International instruments relevant to SPREP's work in the areas of Sustainable Economic Development, Ecosystems Management, Climate Change, and Waste Management."
Academic literature and researchvia Google Scholar