The problem and the solution. Human resource development (HRD) is a critical issue in the Pacific Islands as the region's nations and territories are recognizing that they face a challenging task of striking the right balance among population, available resources, and development. National HRD (NHRD) is emerging as a preferred solution for these challenges as the often small and far-flung nations of the South Pacific search for ways of dealing with feeding, housing, employing, and educating growing populations. In this article, an overview of the Pacific Islands region is provided before providing a brief snapshot of the current challenges these nations and territories face and how HRD at the national level is being positioned in response. The uniquely Pacific conceptualization of HRD and its emerging definition are presented before highlighting the role that regional intergovernmental organizations are playing in implementing HRD at the national level. © 2004, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.