Caribbean Challenge launched at COP 9
Hon. Hubert Alexander Prime Minister of the Bahamas officially launched the Caribbean Challenge at a high-level GLISPA event held 27 May, 2008 in Bonn, Germany, during COP 9.
“Inspired by the Micronesia Challenge, the Caribbean Challenge seeks to ignite a region wide initiative to raise millions in funding for conservation being managed by a permanent protected areas trust fund…The Caribbean Challenge supports the initiative to conserve at a minimum 10% of the Caribbean terrestrial and marine habitat by 2010 and 2012 respectively. It represents an unprecedented commitment by Caribbean governments to build political support and financial sustainability for protected areas. The Bahamas has committed $2 million over the next four years for the establishment of the Bahamas National Protected Areas Trust Fund… I call on the other Caribbean Governments to accept this Challenge… I especially encourage my regional colleagues Heads of Governments to take the necessary steps to implement the Challenge in their countries and to facilitate the establishment of sustainable funding arrangements for their national protected areas systems…."
In response to Prime Minister Alexander's challenge, the Dominican Republic announced the creation of a US$ 10 million National Trust Fund, half of which will be generated by domestic resources; St. Vincent and the Grenadines announced plans to make 10% of its marine area effectively managed by 2012 and the expansion of its marine protected areas system to include 20% of marine habitats by 2020; and Jamaica announced its target of sustainably managing 20% of its critical marine and terrestrial areas by 2015.
The Nature Conservancy has committed to raise US$ 20 million for the implementation of the Caribbean Challenge.
For an updated list of commitments made by countries, organizations and initiatives, click here.
Islander Elected Chairman of SBSTTA
At the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, held from 19 to 30 May in Bonn, Germany, the COP unanimously elected Dr. Spencer Thomas of Grenada as Chairman of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) for the next two years.
CBD Decision on Island Biodiversity
In decision IX/21, adopted by the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, the COP recognized the initiatives and achievements of Parties and major groups in the framework of the island biodiversity programme of work, through voluntary national, regional and multi-country commitments, such as the Micronesia Challenge, Caribbean Challenge, Coral Triangle Initiative, and Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Furthermore, it recognized the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) as one of the mechanisms to implement the island biodiversity programme of work. The COP also requested the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) to undertake an in-depth review of the programme of work at one of its meetings after COP 10, to be sent for consideration at COP 11.
Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)
The SCBD has been instrumental in the organization of GLISPA, which held its first Strategy Meeting
in Rome, Italy, from 25 to 27 September, 2007. GLISPA brings together over 20 Parties to the Convention, as well as major non-governmental and multilateral organizations, to assist islands in addressing one of the world’s greatest challenges: to protect and sustainably manage the invaluable natural resources that support people, cultures, and livelihoods in their island homes around the world. GLISPA was launched in March 2006 at COP 8 to build leadership and partnerships committed to actively supporting implementation of the island biodiversity programme of work and other related global policies.
Since its inception in 2005, GLISPA has engaged leaders all over the world. More than 60 governments of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), large island countries, countries with islands, overseas territories, as well as multi and bilateral agencies, and international, national and regional organizations have worked with GLISPA to advance high-level commitments and on the ground action for island conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Without formal structure or dedicated staffing, GLISPA has helped catalyse more than US$70 million in commitments to island conservation.
GLISPA was created to help bridge local and global initiatives, build upon existing networks and programmes, and share knowledge among all islands. The Partnership defines its unique niche in the following ways:
- Inspire and recognize leadership and commitments to action for island conservation and sustainable livelihoods;
- Strengthen partnerships to support implementation of commitments and to build local long-term conservation capacity;
- Facilitate increased public and private funding for island priorities;
- Promote targeted and cost-effective collaboration and exchanges among islands;
- Engage in effective communication strategies on island issues;
- Build linkages between all islands, regardless of political status;
- Track progress on GLISPA commitments.
In 2008, IUCN took over the hosting of GLISPA, with financial support from IUCN, Italy, USA and The Nature Conservancy (approximately US$ 1.5 million).