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EditPhoto Title:GREEN Program in New Caledonia
EditPhoto Description:Demonstrating the economic benefits of maintaining natural capital
EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_80327959.jpg
EditImage Description:View from Mt Panié, New Caledonia.
EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by François Tron
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The future economy of New Caledonia, a major global priority for conservation, will rely on protecting the archipelago’s natural resources.


Despite being the smallest of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots, New Caledonia houses 3,700 species of plants, 114 species of birds and 143 species of reptiles. Over 80% of these species are found nowhere else on Earth. Its ocean holds healthy and intact coral reefs and deep-sea ecosystems, dotted with biodiverse seamounts. New Caledonia also boasts the world’s largest lagoon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site established in 2008, which is home to the world’s third largest population of dugong. The people of New Caledonia depend on the health of these ecosystems for their fresh water, food, climate and livelihoods.



Our role

CI has worked in in New Caledonia since 1996 and remains the only non-governmental organization to work in all three of its provinces. We work with every level of society, from local communities and municipalities to provincial and national governments.

GREEN is an overarching program that brings together our various projects in New Caledonia to demonstrate the benefits of maintaining nature’s bounty for people. The project’s GREEN acronym comes from the French “Gestion Raisonnée de l’Environnement et des Espaces Naturels de Nouvelle-Calédonie,” translated as “Integrated Management of the Environment and Natural Areas.” Through the GREEN project, we use science and innovation in our field projects to demonstrate how the valuation, protection and management of natural resources is essential to the national economy and human well-being.


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    Edit Item Title:Work with communities
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    We work with communities throughout New Caledonia to study and value biodiversity, create protected areas and protected area networks, and engage local people in this effort. Through demonstrating the importance of these ecosystems and the services they provide, conservation efforts are more likely to have long-lasting effects. We have developed and performed protected areas management on land and at sea, including:

    • the 5,400-hectare (13,343-acre) Mont Panié protected area and its surroundings that benefit the 2,400 inhabitants of Hienghene;
    • the 1,600-square-kilometer Ouvea Atoll World Heritage Site participative management plan that benefits the 3,000 inhabitants of Ouvea island; and
    • the 2,000-square-kilometer Entrecasteaux Atoll World Heritage Site, a fully protected area since 2013.

    We also designed regional ecological corridor networks between key areas, ensuring that natural capital is integrated into land use planning. In addition, we improved practices for sustainably harvesting sandalwood to allow renewable natural capital to benefit the local community.

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    Edit Item Title:Engage at the national level
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    We organized the country’s first ecosystem services study to highlight the links between natural capital and human well-being and presented this to various stakeholders and decision-makers. With the study’s results, we designed decision-making tools to support sustainable management and conservation across the nation. This includes identifying the top areas for conservation that require priority protection and forming management recommendations and plans with the various stakeholders. We also worked closely with the government to develop the world’s largest marine protected area encompassing 1.3 million square kilometers (over 500,000 square miles) in the Coral Sea.

    CI is now a key advisor for building institutional capacity and governance as part of the board of the Conservatory of Natural Areas, New Caledonia’s first formal inter-institutional environmental body. CI is providing expertise in marine spatial planning, facilitating inter-institutional coordination and supporting regional integration under the Pacific Oceanscape framework.

    New Caledonia’s government is also working to establish long-term goals and has engaged in forecast planning. For instance, its “New Caledonia 2025 Sustainable Development Scheme” aims to create a strategic project for land-use planning and development. CI is focused on greening the New Caledonia 2025 sustainable development scheme by providing substantial input on natural capital value, green growth and a sustainable economy model.

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    EditImage Alt Text:Lilac in New Caledonia
    EditTitle:By the numbers
    EditSubtitle:42% of New Caledonia’s landscape
    EditText:42% of New Caledonia’s landscape has been identified as conservation priority areas. This includes 3,700 species of plants, 114 species of birds and 143 species of reptiles.
    EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by François Tron
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      Edit Item Title:Invasive species control
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      Edit Item Text:In Province Nord, we are working with public authorities and local communities to control invasive pig and deer populations that have degraded forests, local crops and downstream water supplies. The project aims to provide Province Nord decision-makers with accurate cost-benefit analysis on implementing a pig and deer control policy.
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      Edit Item Title:Payment for ecosystem services
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      Edit Item Text:CI is developing a payment for ecosystem services plan with our partners to reduce forest degradation in Province Nord. This work will benefit the 9,000 people living within the 3,000-square-kilometer (1,158-square-mile) coastal watershed area.
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      Conservation corridors

      In Province Sud, CI is working to implement a conservation corridor in a critical forest ecosystem containing 90% endemic plants. Conservation corridors are strategically located regions that link key habitats for plants and animals. Encompassing a range of uses, including agriculture, human settlements and economic activities, conservation corridors connect fragmented habitats to sustain natural processes, conserve species and encourage collaborative land use planning. For example, CI is working with Vale Inco, a major mining company, to identify a conservation corridor area where the company can meet its biodiversity offset commitment to the Province Sud government. CI has also studied the environmental impacts of the industrial project on other potential conservation corridors and is supporting mining stakeholders and the New Caledonia government in the creation of a consistent biodiversity offset policy that ensures sustainable economic and industrial development.


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      More of Our Work Links

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      First Image

      EditTitle:Climate
      EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_30785027.jpg
      EditLink:/what/Pages/Climate.aspx
      EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

      Second Image

      EditTitle:Science and Innovation
      EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_80568511.tif
      EditLink:/how/pages/science-and-innovation.aspx
      EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

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      EditTitle:The Ocean
      EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_16084886.jpg
      EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
      EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse