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Environmental Treaties and Resource Indicators (ENTRI) -- Full Text

Summary of the "Convention on Conservation of Nature in the South Pacific" is available from the UNEP Register of International Treaties and Other Agreements in the Field of the Environment.

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Apia, 12 June 1976

    The Contracting Parties,
    Having in mind the Principles set out in the Declaration 
adopted by the United Nations Conference on the Human 
Environment at Stockholm in June 1972;

    Convinced of the urgency for action inspired by these 
Principles, especially in relation to the maintenance of the 
capacity of the earth to produce essential renewable natural 
resources, the safeguarding of representative samples of 
natural ecosystems, and the safeguarding of the heritage of 
wildlife and its habitat;

    Conscious of the importance of natural resources from a 
nutritional, scientific, educational, cultural and aesthetic 
point of view;

    Conscious also of the dangers threatening these 
irreplaceable resources;

    Recognizing the special importance in the South Pacific 
of indigenous customs and traditional cultural practices and 
the need to give due consideration to such matters;

    Desirous of taking action for the conservation, 
utilization and development of these resources through 
careful planning and management for the benefit of present 
and future generations;

    Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

 For the purpose of this Convention:

a) "Protected area" means national park or national reserve;

b) "National park" means an area established for the 
protection and conservation of ecosystems containing animal 
and plant species, geomorphological sites and habitats of 
special scientific, educative and recreational interest or a 
natural landscape of great beauty, which is under the control 
of the appropriate public authority and open to visits by the 

c) "National reserve" means an area recognized and controlled 
by the appropriate public authority and established for 
protection and conservation of nature, and includes strict 
nature reserve, managed nature reserve, wilderness reserve, 
fauna or flora reserve, game reserve, bird sanctuary, 
geological or forest reserve, archaeological reserve and 
historical reserve, these being reserves affording various 
degrees of protection to the natural and cultural heritage 
according to the purposes for which they are established.

Article II

1. Each Contracting Party shall, to the extent that it is 
itself involved, encourage the creation of protected areas 
which together with existing protected areas will safeguard 
representative samples of the natural ecosystems occurring 
therein (particular attention being given to endangered 
species), as well as superlative scenery, striking geological 
formations, and regions and objects of aesthetic interest or 
historic, cultural or scientific value.

2. Each Contracting Party shall notify the body charged with 
the continuing bureau duties under this Convention of the 
establishment of any protected area and of the legislation 
and the methods of administrative control adopted in 
connection therewith.

Article III

1. The boundaries of national parks shall not be altered so 
as to reduce their areas, nor shall any portions of such 
parks be capable of alienation, except after the fullest 

2. The resources of national parks shall not be subject to 
exploitation for commercial profit, except after the fullest 

3. The hunting, killing, capture or collection of specimens 
(including eggs and shells) of the fauna and destruction or 
collection of specimens of the flora in national parks shall 
be prohibited, except when carried out by or under the 
direction or control of the appropriate authorities or for 
duly authorized scientific investigations.

4. Provision shall be made for visitors to enter and use 
national parks, under appropriate conditions, for 
inspirational, educative, cultural and recreative purposes.

Article IY

    National reserves shall be maintained inviolate, as far 
as practicable, it being understood that in addition to such 
uses as are consistent with the purposes for which a national 
reserve was established, permission may be given to carry out 
scientific investigations.

Article V

1. The Contracting Parties shall, in addition to the 
protection given to indigenous fauna and flora in protected 
areas, use their best endeavours to protect such fauna and 
flora (special attention being given to migratory species) so 
as to safeguard them from unwise exploitation and other 
threats that may lead to their extinction.

2. Each Contracting Party shall establish and maintain a list 
of species of its indigenous fauna and flora that are 
threatened with extinction. Such lists shall be prepared as 
soon as possible after this Convention has come into force 
and shall be communicated to the body charged with the 
continuing bureau duties under this Convention.

3. Each Contracting Party shall protect as completely as 
possible as a matter of special urgency and importance the 
species included in the list it has established in accordance 
with the provisions of the last preceding paragraph. The 
hunting, killing, capture or collection of specimens 
(including eggs and shells) of such species shall be allowed 
only with the permission of the appropriate authority. Such 
permission shall be granted only under special circumstances, 
in order to further scientific purposes or when essential for 
the maintenance of the equilibrium of the ecosystem or for 
the administration of the area in which the animal or plant 
is found.

4. Each Contracting Party shall carefully consider the 
consequences of the deliberate introduction into ecosystems 
of species which have not previously occurred therein.

Article VI

Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles III, IV and V, a 
Contracting Party may make appropriate provision for 
customary use of areas and species in accordance with 
traditional cultural practices.

Article VII

1. The Contracting Parties shall co-operate amongst 
themselves in promoting the objectives of this Convention, 
especially within the framework .of the South Pacific 

2. The Contracting Parties shall wherever practicable conduct 
research relating to the conservation of nature. They shall 
as appropriate co-ordinate such research with research 
carried out by other Parties. They shall co-operate in the 
exchange of information on the results of such research and 
on the management of protected areas and of protected 

3. The Contracting Parties shall co-operate in the 
interchange and training of personnel for the conservation of 

4. The Contracting Parties shall work towards harmonization 
of objectives relating to the conservation of nature.
5. With a view to attaining the objectives of this Convention 
the Contracting Parties shall examine the possibility of 
developing programmes of education and public awareness 
relating to conservation of nature.

Article VIII

1. The Contracting Parties shall maintain consultations with 
one another with the object of giving effect to the 
provisions of this Convention.

2. The South Pacific Commission shall provide for the 
continuing bureau duties under this Convention, including the 
circulation to the Contracting Parties of information and 
documents to be provided by the Parties under the provisions 
of the Convention.

Article IX

A State may at the time of deposit of its instrument of 
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession declare that 
the provisions of this Convention on conservation of nature 
in the South Pacific do not apply to its territories outside 
the territorial scope of the South Pacific Commission.

Article X

    This Convention shall be open for signature at Apia until 
31 December 1977 by all States members of the South Pacific 
Commission or eligible to be invited to become members of 
that Commission.

Article XI

    This Convention shall be subject to ratification, 
acceptance or approval. Instruments of ratification, 
acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Government 
of the Independent State of Western Samoa which shall be the 

Article XII

    This Convention shall be open indefinitely for accession 
by the States referred to in Article X and by other States 
which are unanimously invited by the Contracting Parties to 
accede to it. Instruments of accession shall be deposited 
with the Depositary.

Article XIII

1. This Convention shall enter into force ninety days after 
the date of deposit of the fourth instrument of ratification, 
acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary.

2. For each State which ratifies, accepts or approves this 
Convention or accedes thereto after the deposit of the fourth 
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or 
accession, the Convention shall enter into force ninety days 
after the deposit by such State of its instrument of 
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

Article XIV

    Any Contracting Party may denounce this Convention by 
written notification to the Depositary at any time after five 
years from the date of entry into force of the Convention. 
The denunciation shall take effect twelve months after the 
Depositary has received the notification.

Article  XV

1. The original of this Convention in the English and French 
languages, each version being equally authentic, shall be 
deposited with the Depositary, which shall transmit certified 
copies thereof to all States that have signed it or deposited 
instruments of accession to it.

2. The Depositary shall inform all signatory and acceding 
States of signatures, deposits of instruments of 
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, entry into 
force of this Convention, and notifications of denunciation.

3. The Depositary shall transmit certified copies of this 
Convention to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for 
registration and publication in accordance with Article 102 
of the Charter of the United Nations.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized 
by their Governments, have signed this Convention.

    Done at Apia this twelfth day of June One Thousand Nine 
Hundred and Seventy-Six.