The Pacific islands comprise a vast and unique region on our planet, home to unparalleled natural riches — as well as a tapestry of traditions across 23 countries spread among 30,000 islands and islets. Some quick facts about the region:
• Each nation has a rich and unique history, much of which has been passed down orally through storytelling, music and dance.
• It is four times as large as the United States, representing 10 percent of the world’s ocean area.
• Some 60 percent of tuna spawns there; the region’s share of the global tuna catch is valued at US$ 2.4 billion.
• It is home to an unmatched network of coral reefs — nearly pristine due to their relative geographic isolation.