Aspects of transboundary, water shortage, and fisheries issues are discussed in the context of the recently completed Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA) for the Pacific Islands. The region encompasses some 30 million km2 and approximately 12% of the world's ocean space, and features great geographic, demographic and developmental diversity. Global change, especially sea level rise and sea surface temperature increases, is the dominant transboundary concern as it impacts all aspects of life. Water shortage and unsustainable fishing issues are selected for discussion, as they will dominate the region into the foreseeable future, and they are illustrated with examples from Fiji, Kiribati, and Tonga. The environmental impacts are exacerbated by socioeconomic issues such as high population growth rates, urban drift, the breakdown of traditional life styles and the rapid adoption of the cash economy. Policy options that may assist in addressing these issues are proposed.
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Vol. 33 • No. 1