terms of biodiversity and endemism, New
Caledonia is considered one of the most important regions of the planet.
New Caledonia’s high concentration in species, along with the originality
of its flora and fauna, are a result of both the diversity of its habitats
and its historical isolation.
Studies carried out by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
(the French Institute for Development Research), with the assistance of
the provinces of la Grande Terre, have found evidence of extraordinary
originality, remarkable richness in rare species and extreme fragility
in the dry forests (or sclerophyllous forests) of New Caledonia.
A comparative analysis of the threat level (evaluated according to criteria
developed by the IUCN – International Union for the Conservation
of Nature) found that the sclerophyllous forest is clearly the ecosystem
most threatened by extinction.
In an analysis of the world’s biomes (entitled "Global 200"),
WWF found four eco-regions of major interest in New Caledonia: tropical
rainforest, dry forest, marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems. In
partnership with the local institutional and scientific communities, WWF-France
has offered to lead the conservation efforts for the tropical dry forests
of New Caledonia.
Recognizing the value of this ecosystem and the urgent need for
protective measures, the nine partners of the agreement framework decided
to elaborate a 5-year conservation program.