News & Media
New Partners Sign on to Island Resilience Initiative
Two new entities have signed on to support implementation of GLISPA’s Island Resilience Initiative – GridMarket and EarthX. EarthX was founded by Trammell S. Crow of Texas. EarthX 2019 will feature an island space. View the Press Release here.
High Level Political Forum
16 - 17 July 2018, United Nations Headquarters, New York
President Remengesau of Palau (supported by his team from the Palau Mission in NY and in Palau) represented GLISPA at a number of important events at the 2018 High Level Political Forum to champion island resilience priorities. President Remengesau was the lead speaker at a high-level dinner hosted by the Secretariat for the Convention on Biodiversity, UNDP and UN Environment. He conveyed the island worldview that “we need to remember that we are all living on an island, Island Earth… We need to help the global community be islanders again.” President Remengesau's speech can be read here.
Palau also hosted Pacific SIDS Ambassadors and representatives of the GLISPA Leaders at a lunch event in the margins of the High Level Political Forum.
Other highlights – GLISPA was also represented by GLISPA Board Member Celeste Connors Exec Director of Hawaii Green Growth and Kate Brown Exec Director of GLISPA.
GLISPA featured in the Partnership Exchange organized by UNDESA and highlighted lessons learned and partnership bright spots over the last 12 years.
Recognition of innovation – At the High Level Political Forum, Hawaii Green Growth, the Aloha+ Challenge and its Dashboard were highlighted in numerous events as an innovative approach to implementing and measuring progress in implementing the SDGs. This was also true for Palau with the Palau Pledge featured– particularly their award, the first event Sustainability Award (SDGs) awarded in the prestigious Cannes Lion Awards for Advertising Excellence, along with two other Cannes Lions.
For full coverage of the HLPF, go to: http://enb.iisd.org/hlpf/2018/
Our Oceans, Our Islands, Our Future: Global Island Partnership engagement in UN Oceans Conference
5 to 9 June 2017, United Nations Headquarters, New York
“The voyage to a resilient and sustainable future is not one that is taken alone, but by a movement of cities, states, islands and countries working together to shape the future we want.” H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau
With the leadership of H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau, H.E. Vincent Meriton, Vice-President of Seychelles, The Hon. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Ambassador Spencer Thomas of Grenada, alongside Global Island Partnership members and friends, the Partnership coordinated a series of events that demonstrated the leadership of islands united in strong partnerships to implement Sustainable Development Goal 14 and support strong outcomes for the UN Oceans Conference held in New York at the United Nations.
Learn about the outcomes of GLISPA's engagement in the UN Oceans Conference via:
Global Island Partnership is featured in UN Publication on Island Partnerships
22 September 2016
The Global Island Partnership is featured in the Partnerships For Small Island Developing States (SIDS) 2016 Report prepared by the Steering Committee on Partnerships for SIDS in collaboration with UNDESA on pages 17 to 20.
The Report was launched during the first annual Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue held during the 71st session of the General Assembly at a High-level Breakfast Event and highlights a select number of partnerships that are supporting implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and are reporting progress through the the SIDS Partnership Framework (http://www.sids2014.org/).
H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau and Leader of the Global Island Partnership is quoted in the report stating, “Islands are leading innovative solutions for the necessity of our people’s and country’s survival. Strong partnerships are critical to making these solutions a reality. I call on you to join our Global Island Partnership to work together to build resilient and sustainable island communities.”
The report further highlights:
The progress of our Global Island Partnership over the last decade in supporting more than 30 countries to launch or strengthen major sustainable island commitments, such as the Aloha+ Challenge, Caribbean and Micronesia Challenge, as well as engaging high-level leaders to catalyze US$145 million for island action. See our Impact Dashboard (https://impact.glispa.org).
The efforts of the Partnership to scale island modelsthat are inspiring local leadership in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) titled the Island Resilience Initiative as well as a complementary approach to reframe risk and resilience by supporting island leaders and private sector partners to catalyze innovative investments in integrated infrastructure and natural resources management through an Island Resilience Challenge. The Island Resilience Initiative was launched by President Remengesau recently during the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders in Hawaii.
The report also features the Aloha+ Challenge, a shared statewide leadership commitment to build a more secure, sustainable and resilient future for Hawaiʻi by achieving six sustainability targets by 2030 as being on track on page 34. The Aloha+ Challenge was launched internationally during the GLISPA high level event at the UNSIDS meeting in Samoa. During the recent IUCN World Conservation Congress, Governor Ige announced the State of Hawaii membership to the Global Island Partnership to engage with GLISPA’s network to learn, share and collaborate with other islands as we work together to build resilience.
Hawai‘i joins Palau’s global efforts to build more resilient island communities
August 30, 2016 | Honolulu, Hawaii
The President of Palau, H.E. Tommy Remengesau Jr. and Governor of Hawaii, The Hon. David Ige, have taken steps to promote action in building resilient and sustainable island communities, locally and globally with a series of announcements last night in Hawaii.
Hurricanes Madeline and Lester remind us that islands are on the frontline of climate change. They are increasingly threatened from more severe weather alongside resource depletion, urban growth, health threats and food pressures.
Recognizing that problems on islands, from Hawaii to Palau, are interconnected the President launched a new Island Resilience Initiative. “Today, I announce the commitment of our partnership to supporting a long-term effort to scale island models, through the GLISPA Island Resilience Initiative. This initiative will support islands by helping to establish cohesive and aligned policy implementation efforts around the globe,” said H.E. Tommy Remengesau, Jr., President of Palau and Leader of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA).
The island-led Initiative, being implemented by the Global Island Partnership with financial support from the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP and Italy, is a global effort to scale and adapt visionary island models, such as Hawaii’s own Aloha+ Challenge.
The Aloha+ Challenge builds on Hawai‘i’s history of systems-thinking, indigenous knowledge, culture and values that set six ambitious 2030 goals in clean energy, local food production, natural resource management, solid waste reduction, smart sustainable communities and climate resilience, and green workforce and education. The Aloha+ Challenge model, inspired by the Micronesia Challenge, is being seen around the world as a locally and culturally appropriate model supported by strong partnerships to drive implementation of the global Sustainable Development Goals.
To support this island movement, Governor Ige announced that he joins the Global Island Partnership, a partnership led by President Remengesau, the President of Seychelles, Prime Minister of Grenada and Premier of the British Virgin Islands. The Partnership brings together island leaders and their supports to develop, share and scale solutions to common problems on islands and help island leaders and their communities to become more resilient and sustainable.
“The Aloha+ Challenge was inspired by other islands, and we are committed to learning together and sharing best practices. Together we will work with other island leaders to share and scale the Aloha+ Challenge model in a locally and culturally appropriate context to help meet the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” said Hawai’i Governor David Ige.
The State of Hawaii joins the County of Hawaii and Hawaii Green Growth as members of the Global Island Partnership alongside twenty other members around the world to incubate and scale island solutions.
"As a public-private partnership, Hawai‘i Green Growth looks forward to working with the State of Hawai‘i, GLISPA, UNDP and other partners on the Island Resilience Initiative to scale place-based sustainability models like the Aloha+ Challenge. This is an important opportunity to build capacity locally to support the implementation of the global climate and Sustainable Development Goals, and will be a lasting legacy for Hawai‘i and island leaders after the IUCN World Conservation Congress,” said Celeste Connors, Executive Director for Hawaii Green Growth and Professor at Johns Hopkins University SAIS.
These announcements were made during a reception hosted by the Governor at Washington Place during the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders. President Obama is scheduled to address a reception on the 31 August 2016 and anticipated to announce support to the Pacific islands building on the announcement of the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
Photo: Left to Right, President Remengesau of Palau, Governor Ige and First Lady Amano-Ige of State of Hawaii and Master Navigator, Nainoa Thompson of Polynesian Voyaging Society
From H.E. Hersey Kyota, Chair of the GLISPA Steering Committee and Palau's Ambassador to the United States
18 August 2016
Please join me in welcoming the County of Hawai’i as one of the Global Island Partnership’s newest members. We are pleased to have the County of Hawai’i join our Partnership as an island dedicated to championing a culture of sustainability at the local level in Hawaii through the Aloha+ Challenge. The County of Hawaii joining is timely in advance of the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress and as we prepare for our annual GLISPA Members meeting (Steering Committee) in October. We are thankful for their commitment to the Partnership, inspiring leadership, and groundbreaking work with the Aloha+ Challenge.
The Honorable William P. Kenoi, Mayor of the County of Hawai’i, is represented by John De Fries, Director of Research and Development, Mayor’s Office to our Steering Committee. Mr. De Fries has shared with me the following sentiments on why they have become a member of the Global Island Partnership which I would like to share with you:
“The County of Hawaii (Hawaii Island) is a signatory to the Aloha+ Challenge and our purpose for joining GLISPA is to learn from and collaborate with our fellow GLISPA members. GLISPA affords us a new network of relationships around the world and a comprehensive perspective for building resiliency on Hawaii Island. These factors will leverage our on-island pursuit of the six sustainability goals of the Aloha+ Challenge, to be achieved by 2030.
There are five other signatories to the Aloha+ Challenge in the State of Hawaii, and the County of Hawaii will encourage all of them to consider the value of applying for GLISPA membership, as a means of perpetuating unity in Hawaii and strengthening our shared vision for 2030."
Thank you again to all of our 2016 members who have helped ensure the ongoing collaborative efforts of our Partnership including:
Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA), British Virgin Islands, County of Hawai’i, Global Environment Facility, Hawai’i Green Growth, Indian Ocean Commission, IUCN, Italy, Micronesia Conservation Trust, Palau, Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity, Seychelles, Silver Mountain Solutions, Rare, The Nature Conservancy, Taiwan, UNDP-managed GEF Small Grants Programme, Waitt Foundation and Waitt Institute.
Chair of the Global Island Partnership Steering Committee
Ambassador to the United States and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
Republic of Palau
Voyaging To A Sustainable Planet
The President of Palau welcomes the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage to United Nations Headquarters, New York City
8 June 2016
On World Oceans Day (8 June 2016), Hōkūle‘a arrived at the United Nations in New York City to draw attention to how the oceans unite us as one island Earth and to share first-hand stories of the state of the ocean shared by these courageous voyages.
H.E. Tommy E. Remenegsau Jr., President of Palau, addressed the United Nations to celebrate the inspirational journey of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage in creating a more sustainable planet and discuss how the international ocean agenda intersects with the work individual governments, and in particular, island nations, are doing to conserve their territorial waters.
The President highlighted the following points in his address:
Shared how locally driven solutions such as the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (which protects 80 percent of the country’s exclusive economic zone as a fully protected marine reserve) and Micronesia Challenge are “bright spots that show us how to sail toward our destination of a more sustainable planet”
Drew attention to the efforts of the State of Hawai’i in advancing the Aloha+Challenge that sets six statewide sustainability targets to be achieved by 2030 and was inspired by the Micronesia Challenge. These are “island-led solutions that offer integrated, locally and culturally appropriate models to implement the sustainable development goals”
Reinforced the need to take “urgent action on the oceans and particularly the high seas” and called for a “U.N. treaty to protect high seas biodiversity as an important step forward to protecting our common good and future.”
Invited member states and supporters to join the Global Island Partnership and support efforts to mobilize large-scale investment in infrastructure across multiple islands at the water-energy-food nexus to build our resilience and ensure our sustainability through the Island Resilience Challenge to be launched during a high level event to be hosted by President Remengesau alongside the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and Governor of Hawaii in Hawaii during the World Conservation Congress.
“I call on all islands and countries globally to take leadership and action to protect and save our oceans, our fisheries, our high seas and steward a new era of governance for a sustainable planet.”
During the event, Nainoa Thompson, President of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Master Navigator of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, spoke of the importance of the ocean to island communities and the planet. “To protect life on Earth, we have to protect the oceans; everything that we need to sustain ourselves on this tiny little island we call Earth - our air, our food, all living things - everything is protected by the world’s oceans. Work must be done simultaneously in protecting, preserving and restoring our near-shore and high seas environments in order for us to ensure a healthy world.”
The President of Palau is a leader of the Global Island Partnership alongside the Presidents of Seychelles and Prime Minister of Grenada. The President and Nainoa addressed the United Nations as part of an event entitled “Voyaging to a Sustainable Planet: A Talk Story Uniting Leadership on Oceans,” hosted by the President in partnership with the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Micronesia, Seychelles, and Grenada and co-sponsored by the U.N. Missions of Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, France, Indonesia, Italy, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Samoa, South Africa, Sweden, Tonga, United States, Global Island Partnership, Polynesian Voyaging Society, The Pew Charitable Trusts, UN-DOALOS and UN-OHRLLS.
Please find here some materials on the event and Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage:
See UN WebTV Full Event: http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/watch/world-oceans-day/4932788238001
Coverage from events to welcome Hokulea at UN Headquarters http://www.hokulea.com/hokulea-update-world-oceans-day/
About the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage
Hōkūle‘a is sailing across Earth’s oceans to join and grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world. Covering 47,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, 27 nations, and 12 Marine World Heritage Sites, the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage will continue through 2017 when a new generation of navigators take the helm and guide Hōkūle‘a back to Hawaiʻi after circumnavigating the globe.
To guide the canoe Hōkūle‘a, navigators use traditional wayfinding with stars, waves, wind and birds as mapping points for direction. Pacific Island people mastered wayfinding and used it to explore and settle the Pacific Ocean. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) recovered and reclaimed this knowledge for Hawaiʻi after a 600-year period of local extinction. Over the past 40 years, PVS has sailed more than 140,000 nautical miles within our Pacific Ocean home, reconnecting with the past and reimagining a healthier future for the people, oceans, and environment of all of Island Earth.
As the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage crossed the Pacific in 2014 they built the global relationships needed to create a more sustainable planet. Over the course of the journey Hōkūleʻa has been entrusted with commitments to action from the UN Secretary General to world leaders and communities across the Pacific for a more sustainable future. During a special sail on board Hōkūle‘a in Samoa during the Third UN Conference on Small Island Developing States the UN Secretary General offered to welcome the Worldwide Voyage on her arrival to New York City in 2016.
From H.E. Hersey Kyota, Chair of the GLISPA Steering Committee and Palau's Ambassador to the United States
21 March 2016
This year we celebrate a decade of collective impact through the Global Island Partnership and enter a new phase of working together to achieve our 2030 Strategy goals. I am proud of the last ten years of the Global Island Partnership’s efforts and excited by our next chapter to build resilient and sustainable island communities.
In our first ten years of partnership, we have engaged high-level leaders to catalyze close to US$150 million for island action and assisted more than 30 countries to launch or strengthen major sustainable island commitments. We have positioned ourselves as a solution-focused and impactful partnership able to mobilize significant action through our network. Thank you to each of you that have contributed to this.
In 2015 our Steering Committee introduced membership for the first time including an annual member fee. I am honored to recognize and welcome the following:
Hawaii Green Growth, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Italy, Micronesia Conservation Trust, Seychelles, Rare, The Nature Conservancy, Republic of China on Taiwan and UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme.
With their leadership and support to the sustainability of the partnership, we are positioned to make great strides in 2016. I would like to invite you all to consider becoming a Global Island Partnership Member this year. By becoming a member, you join a network of leaders recognized for promoting action to inspire leadership, catalyze commitments, and facilitate collaboration for islands. As a member, you have a seat on the Partnership’s Steering Committee and gain access to a leading network of island leaders and organizations working to advance innovative solutions to the challenges confronting island communities today. Learn more about becoming a Member here.
The Global Island Partnership remains a collaborative and inclusive partnership; open to any entity that supports its mission. Any government, organization or individual is welcome to participate in supporting implementation of partnership’s strategy through engaging in working groups, events or other ways. However those that benefit most from the partnership are being asked to provide a financial contribution to our sustainability.
I am pleased to announce that we are supporting efforts to welcome Hōkūle‘a and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage to Washington D.C. in late May and to New York on 8 June in celebration of World Oceans Day.
In September 2016 as part of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i, the Global Island Partnership is coordinating a high-level event to inspire leadership and catalyze commitments to build resilient and sustainable island communities. Palau President and Global Island Partnership Leader, Tommy Remengesau Jr. will join Hawai’i Governor David Ige among others to co-host this event in Honolulu. Please reach out to Jessica if you are interested in more information on these activities.
Spotlight on islands at the Paris Conference of the Parties
Last December in Paris, the Global Island Partnership coordinated a series of high level events at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.Led by my President, H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., with high level representatives of Palau, Seychelles and Grenada, the members of the partnership mobilized significant action to build resilient and sustainable island communities through a series of strategic, high-profile events coordinated by the Partnership and island supporters. The outcomes included:
Seychelles launched the first ever debt for adaptation swap. The financing will promote implementation of a Marine Spatial Plan for the entire Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone as well as ensure 400,000 km2 will be managed for conservation as marine protected areas (MPAs) within five years.
Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Jamaica and Grenada announced their intentions to undertake debt swaps based on the successful Seychelles deal.
The Global Island Resilience Challenge was announced by Palau as part of the United Nations Secretary General’s ‘A2R - Anticipate Absorb Reshape’ Initiative.
Leaders were convened to mobilize commitment to action on small-scale fisheries as an integral component of reducing the vulnerability of island and coastal communities to climate change.
Innovative island solutions in tackling climate adaptation, climate compatible development and oceans resilience were showcased and to reinforce the need for greater action on all islands.
Regional ocean challenges and their supporting financing mechanisms were demonstrated as being capable of aiding more rapid distribution of climate and development finance, while at the same time supporting island leaders to realize the ambitious goals of the Challenges.
A closer relationship was fostered between SIDS and EU Overseas to facilitate greater collaboration between all islands toward common goals.
Learn more about the outcomes of the Partnership’s efforts in Paris here.
Chair of the Global Island Partnership Steering Committee
Ambassador to the United States and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
Republic of Palau
Local Solutions to Global Challenges: Hawaii is leading on sustainability
10 March 2016
Celeste Connors, Executive Director, Hawaii Green Growth and member of GLISPA Steering Committee, shares her views on Hawaii’s leadership on sustainability with Global Island News. Read the full story at: http://globalislandnews.com/local-solutions-to-global-challenges-hawaii-is-leading-on-sustainability/
"Hawai‘i faces a unique set of challenges, including dependence on fossil fuel imports, limited natural resources, biodiversity loss, sea level rise, and vulnerability to catastrophic natural disasters. It is estimated that a category 4 hurricane making landfall in Waikiki would cause $20-$40 billion in direct economic losses to the State. Hawai‘i’s approach to reducing disaster risk and increasing community resilience is globally relevant, and shows how local leadership can drive progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Recognizing the need for coordinated solutions across sectors to support long-term development, Hawai‘i Green Growth was launched on the margins of the 2010 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Honolulu. Hawai‘i Green Growth is an innovative network-based public-private partnership that coordinates across government, non-governmental and cultural organizations, business, academia and philanthropy to catalyze collaboration, transformational action, and system-level change on Hawai‘i’s 2030 sustainability goals.
Inspired by initiatives such as the Micronesia Challenge, a commitment by regional leaders to conserve 30% marine and 20% terrestrial resources by 2020, and in collaboration with the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), Hawai‘i announced a visionary statewide commitment to sustainable development in 2014. The Aloha+ Challenge was launched by Hawai‘i Green Growth in partnership with the Governor, four county Mayors and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and was unanimously endorsed by the State Legislature.
See full article at: http://globalislandnews.com/local-solutions-to-global-challenges-hawaii-is-leading-on-sustainability/
Seychelles concludes debt buyback of USD21m
9 March 2016
Seychelles has successfully concluded the financial part of a debt buyback deal announced at UNFCCC COP21 Paris allowing Seychelles to go ahead with its plans for marine conservation and climate change adaptation works, the finance minister The Hon. Jean Paul Adam announced on Tuesday.
The debt for adaptation swap was supported by The Nature Conservancy through GLISPA. As a priority of the GLISPA 2030 Strategy, the partnership will focus on expansion of the debt for adaptation swap to targeted indebted Small Island Developing States. The debt for adaptation swaps presents an opportunity to use instant payday loan an innovative mechanism to finance implementation of marine spatial plans and increase the resilience of island nations most susceptible to the impacts of climate change through improved management of coasts, coral reefs, and mangroves.
President of Palau Recognized by UNEP Champions of the Earth 2014 Award
13 Novemeber 2014
GLISPA's Co-Chair, the President of Palau, H.E. Tommy Remengesau Jr. was awarded as Champion of the Earth for policy leadership from the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, launching the first shark sanctuary, Micronesia Challenge, action on trawling to global leadership in GLISPA alongside the President of Seychelles. Read the press release below from IISD Sustainable Development Policy & Practice for more details.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced the recipients of the UN's highest environmental honor, the ‘Champions of the Earth Award,' which recognizes innovators and policymakers for service to the environment, saving lives, improving livelihoods and bettering environmental governance and conservation.
The 2014 Champions of the Earth will be honored during an awards ceremony at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, US, on 19 November 2014, led by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bundchen will also attend the ceremony.
This year's policy leadership awards will go to: Tommy Remengesau, Jr., President of Palau, for strengthening his country's economic and environmental resilience by implementing national policies to protect biodiversity; and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, former President of Indonesia, for becoming the first president from a major developing country to voluntarily pledge to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
For entrepreneurial vision, the award will go to the US Green Building Council for transforming the design, construction and operation of buildings and communities. The science and innovation award is given to Sir Robert Watson, environmental scientist, for promoting the science behind ozone depletion, climate change and the impacts of biodiversity loss.
Inspiration and action honors will go to: Boyan Slat, founder of the Ocean Clean-up Initiative, for focusing on finding a solution to the worsening problem of plastic marine debris; and Fatima Jibrell, founder of African Development Solutions (Adeso), for building environmental and social resilience during times of war.
Moreover, to mark the award's tenth anniversary, lifetime leadership awards will presented to those whose life's work and commitment to conservation have had a positive impact on humanity and the planet. These awards will be presented to: Sylvia Earle, ocean explorer and conservationist, for developing ‘hope spots' to protect and maintain biodiversity; and Mario Molina, Nobel Laureate and ozone scientist, for spearheading 'one of the most significant climate-related global agreements ever made.'
Leaders Make Visionary Commitments to Island Sustainability and Resilience
3 September 2014
Island countries and countries with islands have made bold commitments to build resilient and sustrainable island communities through innovative partnerships during a high level event in Apia, Samoa.
The event was hosted by H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau as Co-Chair of Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), alongside Seychelles' Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Jean-Paul Adam and Grenada's Minister of State for Information, Communication and Technology, The Honorable Alvin Dabreo during the Third United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States (UNSIDS). Please read the attached release for more information.