Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

Association for Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA)

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

Climate change is one of the main themes being discussed at international level and impacting on EU policies and/or Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) development strategy. GLISPA provides a valuable opportunity for OCTs to highlight and share their position with natural partners in global forums. The strategic objective of the OCTA for the period 2015-2020 is to better voice OCTs’ interests/perspectives on the global scene. To this aim, with respect to the principle of subsidiarity, OCTA promotes partnerships with the EU, with the OCTs’ Member States, and with territories or organizations sharing specificities with the OCTs including the SIDS, which are mostly ACP countries, and with which the OCTs have already developed a close relationship.

2. What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

Establishing sustainable partnerships is crucial for facilitating OCTs development and regional integration. Partnerships increase leverage and multiply impact. There are three goals that OCTA wants to advance through GLISPA:

  • First, GLISPA provides the OCTs the opportunity to participate in larger forums and make their voice heard: the adoption of joint positions between OCTA and some partners which are recognized at international level strongly increases OCTAs’ visibility, their impact and capacity to influence policy formulation.
  • Second, GLISPA can assist with the identification of new opportunities, including financial resources which can be mobilized to address OCTs development issues.
  • Third, GLISPA can facilitate the implementation of projects beneficial to the territories, but which could not be implemented without third partners. 

Bahamas National Trust

Bahamas National Trust is a non-profit organisation in The Bahamas that manages the country’s national parks and currently protects over 2 million acres of biodiversity. No stranger to GLISPA, they join to support our combined efforts and to help strengthen this island partnership. “We want to share our successes in the Bahamas with National Parks and Protected Area Management, and Environmental Awareness and Advocacy with other Island Nations. We also want to use the network to help inform our work and actions and be a powerful advocate for GLISPA in the Caribbean.

British Virgin Islands

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

The Virgin Islands stands as a proud member of GLISPA to share our experiences with our partners in preserving our environment, which includes biodiversity and climate change adaptation. Moreover, the Virgin Islands is interested in also learning from the experience of others.  In doing so, we can create a meaningful and sustainable partnership to promote best practices in island conservation and conservation in general at an international level for the sustainability of the planet. The Caribbean Challenge Initiative and the Summit of Political and Business Leaders held on Necker Island in 2013 provided the impetus to identify opportunities for collaboration in the augmentation of Protected Areas, whilst fostering the catalyst to enhance sustainable financing mechanisms. Moreover, as a Small Island nation at the frontline of the impacts of climate change we lend our voice to those who advocate for concrete actions to adapt and mitigate against its most severe impacts. We recognise and fully appreciate that inactivity and the lack of a concerted and sustained response to a changing climate is not a tenable position in light of the devastating impacts that climate related hazards may have on Small Island States’ communities and its economies. The Virgin Islands recognises the tremendous value that GLISPA provides as a forum to learn from other Island States’ experiences and partner to promote best practices in island conservation towards the sustainability of the planet. The Territory has gained tremendously from the engagement with members of the International Community concerned with the health and well-being of the planet and value the space created by GLISPA to lend our voice to the dialogue related to the place and the future of SIDS at various international forums.

2. What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

The Territory has gained from the experience of engaging with a broader community of small island states that are concerned with the health and well-being of the planet.  In particular, the Virgin Islands has lent its voice to the dialogue as to the place and the future of SIDS through the SIDS meeting in Samoa, the Paris Agreement forged at the UNFCCC COP and the World Conservation Congress, amongst other fora.   The Caribbean Challenge Initiative and its Summit of Political and Business Leaders held in Necker Island has provided the impetus to identify opportunities for collaboration in the establishment of Protected Areas, whilst creating sustainable financing mechanisms.  The Virgin Islands has a continued interest in advocating on behalf of SIDS and to lend its voice of support to global initiatives that will assist countries to improve biodiversity conservation and provision of ecosystem services and adapt to climate change.

Green Cross France & Territories

Green Cross France & Territories is part of a global independent non-profit and non-governmental environmental organisation (NGO) working to address the inter-connected global challenges of security, poverty eradication and environmental degradation through a combination of advocacy and local projects. They have joined to experience-sharing in moving from vulnerability to resilience.  They have contributed to the joint movement empowered as part of CoP23 to have islands and seashores at the forefront of a humanist and environmental dynamics to mitigate and adapt to climate tangible with tangible locally-driven solutions supported by experience sharing. Green Cross France & Territories is represented by Nicolas Imbert, Executive Director. www.gcft.fr, https://www.facebook.com/GCFetT/

International Union for Conservation of Nature

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

IUCN is a board member of GLISPA as it hosts the network, fiscally and institutionally. Through this engagement, IUCN is ensuring that the hosting arrangement represents the interests of both parties as well as actively seeks collaborative opportunities in moving forward aligned ambitions for island biodiversity conservation.

Italy

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

Immediate interests might not be projected by Italy on the islands community at large, but we believe that a partnership of goals springing out of diversity is the way forward for a peaceful future for mankind as a whole. In this light, joining GLISPA as a path-finding experience came natural. All the more because Italy has been historically promoting partnerships as a primary dimension of its foreign policy: partnership has proven the way to build a peaceful and cooperative European continent and the idea itself of a European Union was born in Italy in the 19th century, just as much as partnerships represent the most promising potential for the Mediterranean region.

2. What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

Partnership in our understanding is about “leaving no one behind”, as the 2030 Agenda now implies. In tackling the emerging environmental challenges, we are focusing on building leagues of common interests and shared solutions with some communities where fragile ecosystems overlap fragile societies: islands, but also mountains, forests and drylands, with each one of these making up part of the Italian territory. These ecosystems are the first victims but lowest contributors to climate change and other environmental degradation dynamics: if our engagement did not go first towards those, our action in areas where indeed there is a tangible interest would lose part of its spirit and legitimacy. We are proud to be founding members of GLISPA!

James Michel Foundation

James Michel Foundation was founded in 2017 by the former president of Seychelles (and one of the founders of GLISPA) and is “guided by a commitment to promote the Blue Economy concept, both in its national and international aspect, to sensitize people about climate change and its impacts on Seychelles and the world, to promote environmental protection and sustainable development and defend and promote the cause of SIDS.” JMF is represented by Jacquelin Dugasse.

Micronesia Conservation Trust

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

The Micronesia Conservation Trust provides support/services in island countries/jurisdictions. Island issues are a central part of what we do. We feel islands are the most vulnerable to the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change. Island solutions can serve as good models and catalysts for similar initiatives in larger countries. We strongly believe if islands can survive and thrive, so can the rest of the planet.

2. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

MCT’s main focus is to secure sustainable financing around particular conservation initiatives in our region. We work with our government and non-state actor partners to put in place sustainable financing mechanisms, ranging from small community based revolving funds, to national and regional level endowments/long-term sinking funds. If we can get sustainability around many of our efforts, we should start seeing consistent results.

Municipality of Cozumel

Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

The Municipality of Cozumel is off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The Municipality of Cozumel, with leadership of the Mayor Perla Cecilia Tun Pech, has joined GLISPA to work together on island resilience. “Cozumel has been working a lot on its sustainable and resilience strategy at the local and national level and GLISPA provides the international islands platform to achieve together what we can't get individually. Together we are stronger. GLISPA is an international platform for sharing, learning and improving on island issues, that is why Cozumel believes [GLISPA] is the perfect platform to learn about island issues and solutions, and share our experiences to help other islands to identify and reach individual and collective solutions.”

New Caledonia

New Caledonia is an active member of OCTA and has been involved in numerous events, thanks to GLISPA. The Partnership has allowed New Caledonia to be more visible. New Caledonia wants to contribute to GLISPA actions and benefit from GLISPA actions and networks. “As hotspot for biodiversity, New Caledonia really needs to build resilient and sustainable island communities.” Current bright spots include UNESCO site, Coral Sea Nature Park among others. New Caledonia is looking forward to sharing experiences and learning how to deal with threats we face (mining, fires, pollution...). As New Caledonia has a specific status, they can share with other territories ways to access dedicated funds for territories. New Caledonia’s membership representative is Anna-Claire Goarant, Senior Advisor for Multilateral Cooperation and Regional Organisation. http://www.cooperationregionale.gouv.nc.

Okeanos - Foundation for the Sea

Okeanos - Foundation for the Sea’s mission is to support island people as they use their own traditional vessels (vakas) and native energy sources of sun, coconut oil and wind, to meet their countries' needs for sustainable sea transportation. Okeanos is committed to helping the people of Pacific islands become economically resilient, while preserving their cultural practice and knowledge, by providing traditionally designed sustainable sea transportation through BOT partnerships (Build, Operate, Transfer) including training local capacity of sailors, boat builders and business operators. Okeanos has joined GLISPA to collaborate and partner with like minded organizations committed to building sustainable island communities. Okeanos believes that coordinating the efforts of regional, national, private and nonprofit organizations all striving to protect the health of the Pacific and its peoples is our best chance to preserve the complex fabric of life within our world’s largest ecosystem.

Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF)

Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

PIDF joined GLISPA in 2017 as we believe in the importance of partnerships especially when dealing with Islands for whom interconnections are vital. GLISPA’s vision of promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities relates perfectly to PIDF’s mandate in the Pacific to enable Green–Blue Pacific Economies through Inclusive Strategies, Multi-stakeholder Governance, and Genuine partnership.

What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

The PIDF Secretariat expects its membership within GLISPA to be mutually beneficial whereby PIDF and Pacific Islands can learn from and share actions and developments with the rest of the world, but also by showing Pacific leadership and excellence in adaptation and sustainability. We want to build linkages between the global level and the local level and we believe that GLISPA is an excellent tool to achieve this.

2017 has been declared the Pacific Year of the Ocean by PIDF Leaders. With GLISPA, PIDF trusts that it can reach its objectives better - particularly in innovations and islands solutions that would benefit the private sector and the communities in the Pacific region, which is an invaluable and vulnerable region at the same time.

PACIFICO Foundation

PACIFICO Foundation is a coordination platform made up of four environmental funds, whose purpose is to seek financial sustainability for actions in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP). The national funds that make up the PACIFICO Platform are the Action Fund and Natural Heritage Fund (Colombia), Natura Foundation (Panama) and Forever Costa Rica Association (Costa Rica). In 2015, PACIFICO developed a Conservation Plan that identifies the investment needs to conserve coastal-marine resources and guides funding actions to achieve an impact in the region.

Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

A focus of their efforts are 5 key islands in the Pacific Ocean of Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama with 4 of them already designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Galapagos, Cocos, Malpelo and Coiba). PACIFICO have joined GLISPA to work with others to scale up and promote stronger initiatives to foster sustainable development and conservation actions that benefit people, islands and marine ecosystems as well as to influence policy makers at the international and national levels.

Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

As a founding and Executive Board member, the Secretariat of the CBD understands that GLISPA is a very effective multi-stakeholder cooperation platform to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity and related programmes, targets and decisions, as well as all other initiatives such as the UN’s SAMOA Pathway, ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change and the relations between the SDGs and the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan on Biodiversity.

2. What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

Convention on Biological Diversity joined GLISPA for the following reasons: the cooperation between national governments (Parties to the CBD) of island countries and countries with islands, and their international and NGO partners, to progress on the implementation of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, also through multilateral “challenges” (Micronesia, Caribbean, Western Indian Ocean, BEST Challenge for islands of the European Union), capacity building and technical and scientific cooperation. GLISPA is also a resource mobilization channel and a planning and strategy “soundboard” for future projects and programmes.

The Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development of SIDS

The Center of Excellence was launched in 2015 by the Government of Aruba in collaboration with UNDP and support of the Netherlands to strengthen innovation and resilience in SIDS by sharing Sustainable Development Goal-focussed best practices and lessons learned and to support SIDS in their road maps for Sustainable Development.

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

Arno Boersma, Center of Excellence Manager, has shared that they are interested to join GLISPA as “The missions are very similar in their aim to support islands in their sustainable development. The COE is interested in partnering with GLISPA to leverage GLISPA's knowledge through our various channels (online platform, webinars, newsletter, etc.) as well as raise awareness around COE's activities among GLISPA's vast network of island stakeholders. We look forward to working with GLISPA in jointly serving SIDS policymakers."

2. What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

"The main goals we would like to advance through GLISPA is to better support SIDS' policy makers in topics related to sustainable development, such as sustainable tourism, renewable energy and waste management through liaising with the GLISPA network; enriching best practices with GLISPA knowledge, while at the same time raising the profile of the COE as we are a relatively new initiative of the UNDP and the Government of Aruba.”

The Nature Conservancy

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

The Nature Conservancy joined GLISPA when it was launched, in 2006, and it has supported its vision ever since. What drew TNC to the Partnership was its focus on all islands and the flexible nature of its membership, which encourages countries, international institutions and civil society organizations to take the lead, engage on and collaborate dynamically around issues that are of interest to them.

2. What is the main goal you want to advance through the Global Island Partnership?

Several global, regional and country programs within The Nature Conservancy engage directly with GLISPA around geographical initiatives – such as the Micronesia Challenge or the Caribbean Challenge Initiatives – or thematic efforts – such as the effort to mainstream ecosystem-based adaptation or develop innovative financial solutions such as foreign debt conversions for adaptation purposes. The Partnership allows The Nature Conservancy to advance conservation priorities more efficiently by connecting with a variety of partners.