The annual meeting of the regional environmental organisation, SPREP, being held in French Polynesia has been told that the very existence of Pacific societies is at risk.
The territory's vice-president and environment minister, Jacqui Drollet, says the aggressive behaviour of rich countries and their exploitation of the resources of the developing countries cause serious damage to the environment.
According to the news agency AFP, Mr Drollet says sustainable development applies not only to the environment but also has a cultural and social dimension.
He says these principles should be included in all levels of instruction, from per-school to university.
The director of SPREP, Asterio Takesy, says while the region's environmental problems are considerable, partners are needed to find solutions.
And he says they can only come from rich countries that have specialists.