Marine & Coastal Biodiversity in the Pacific Island Countries and Atolls (MACBIO)

Marine & Coastal Biodiversity in the Pacific Island Countries and Atolls (MACBIO)


IUCN Marine & Coastal Biodiversity in Pacific Islands Countries & Atolls Project (MACBIO)  is supporting the Vanuatu Government achieve sustainable management of ecosystems and marine resources in country.  Natural resources in marine and coastal areas are of high importance for Vanuatu and sustain the livelihoods of coastal communities. However, the need to use marine resources sustainably is not well reflected in national planning processes, due in part to insufficient information regarding their economic value and lack of concerted marine spatial planning.

MACBIO project 2013-2018  aims to help Vanuatu to meet their commitments under the CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and the relevant Aichi targets, including the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (POWPA) and the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity (POWIB) Specifically, the project aims to enhance ecosystem-based management and support more effectively managed marine resources which should lead to more resilient coastal and marine economies, more sustainable use of marine biodiversity, and will contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as securing and strengthening local livelihoods. Tried and tested concepts and instruments will be adopted in Vanuatu.

The MACBIO project is being implemented by GIZ with technical support from IUCN-Oceania in close collaboration with SPREP. 

. The IUCN components of the project aim to achieve the following outcome and outputs:

Outputs (specific project goals):

An ocean-wide policy and spatial planning framework

Through the project (within last year and this year 2016), Vanuatu has been able to develop a National Oceans Policy, which is currently awaiting official gazetting by the Council of ministers in July. In which the fundamental basis is founded upon Ecosystem based approach/management. As the vision of the Ocean Policy states;” To conserve and sustain a healthy and wealthy ocean for the people and culture of Vanuatu, today and tomorrow.”

The Policy was brought about by all relevant line government agencies pertaining to Oceans, but funded and facilitated through the MACBIO project. It includes several thematic areas (e.g Marine Protected Areas, Fisheries, Culture, Tourism, Shipping, Climate Change, DSM) but includes a new dimension, which is spatial planning for the sea. Marine spatial planning (MSP) with the aim to contribute to minimizing conflicts between different uses, promote sustainability of uses and conservation of some areas for biodiversity. In terms of MSP once the Oceans Policy is endorsed, the government will be mandated to carry out MSP, MACBIO has some expertise to share and will assist with this. At some point, Vanuatu Government decision-makers will have to think about what kinds of uses they would like to see in what parts of their sea and, to make informed decisions, they’ll need information about what is happening where. To help with this, the MACBIO project is trying to pull together data for the government to use. It will and has provided training to government officers, specifically fisheries officers in GIS and spatial mapping.

The economic value of marine and coastal ecosystem services is considered in national development planning. 

MACBIO output: we have developed a Vanuatu Marine Ecosystem Service Valuation 2015 report. SUMMARY:This study, conducted in 2015, aimed to determine the economic value of seven marine and coastal ecosystem services in Vanuatu. The study forms part of the broader MACBIO project (Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Management in Pacific Island Countries and Atolls) that aims to strengthen the management of marine and coastal biodiversity in Pacific island countries.

The role that natural ecosystems, especially marine ecosystems, play in human wellbeing is often overlooked or taken for granted. The benefits humans receive from ecosystems, called ecosystem services, are often hidden because markets do not directly reveal their value – nature provides these benefits for free. Failure to recognize the role that marine ecosystems play in supporting livelihoods, economic activity, and human wellbeing has, in many instances, led to inequitable and unsustainable resource management decisions.

Coastal and marine resources provide Ni-Vanuatu businesses, households, and government many real and measurable benefits. The exclusive economic zone of Vanuatu, nearly 700,000 square kilometres of ocean, is more than 50 times larger than the country’s land area. This report, describes, quantifies and, where sufficient data is available, estimates the economic value of many of Vanuatu’s marine and coastal ecosystem services, in an effort to inform sustainable and equitable management decisions and support national marine spatial planning.

Seven key marine ecosystem services were evaluated in detail: subsistence and commercial fishing, tourism, coastal protection, carbon sequestration, minerals and mining, and marine research and management. Other services are explored as well, including cultural and traditional values associated with the sea, potential future industries and other human benefits that have not yet been developed or analysed. A scarcity of data about many of these ecosystem services prevents calculation of the total economic value, so the values below should be regarded as minimum estimates. Data gaps are described in detail in the full report.


Best practices for the management of marine protected areas, including payment for environmental services, and the resulting benefits, are demonstrated at selected sites.

This is still being implemented. With this project (proposed sites are Gaua, Torres and Nguna Pele)

Tried and tested concepts and instruments for the sustainable management of marine and coastal resource management are disseminated regionally and internationally.

Through the project this is being implemented. (proposed sites are Gaua, Torres and Nguna Pele)

Project Status: 
Project Contact: 

Project Primary Groups

Project Sites: 


Latitude: -14.280960
Longitude: 167.516079

Torres Islands

Latitude: -13.250000
Longitude: 166.616667


Latitude: -17.449480
Longitude: 168.355778


Latitude: -16.559672
Longitude: 168.716971

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Project Information

Short Title: 
Project Scope: 
National Framework: 
Title: Marine and coastal biodiversity management in the Pacific island countries and atolls Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) Country: Pacific island region: Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu Lead executing...
Start Date: 
Saturday, August 17, 2013
End Date: 
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Implementing Countries: 


International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Amount (donor currency):