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Island biodiversity - Current Activities

For more information on current island-related activities, see the calendar of events under the GLISPA link.

Soft launch of SIDSnet

Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet): A Global Platform for Facilitating Partnerships in SIDS

Date: Wednesday, 4th May, 2011 Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 p.m. Venue: Conference Room 7 (NLB), United Nations, New York

For more information click here.

Island Leadership Celebrated in New York

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) hosted a breakfast on 22 September 2010, in New York, US, to celebrate “island leadership” and cooperation on issues facing small island developing States (SIDS). The partnerships highlighted during the event were the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and the Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSNet).

For more information click here.

Review of the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI +5)

Member States met to review the Mauritius Strategy for the Implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island States at the 65th session of the UN General Assembly, on 24 and 25 September 2010. In this regard, the Secretariat of the CBD has submitted an assessment report on the support it provides to SIDS in the implementation of the programme of work on island biodiversity and MSI.

For more information on the MSI +5, click here.

Global Island Database

Another SCBD activity, mandated through item C.e of decision VIII/1, is the development of this web portal on island biodiversity. Along with UNEP-WCMC, the Global Islands Network, and IUCN, the SCBD has collected data and facilitated the development of the Global Islands Database, which will feed future biodiversity assessments, support international action for islands and lead to development of a World Atlas of Islands to communicate key issues in island conservation. The Global Islands Database will also be connected as a tool to the well-known islands portal SIDSNet, administered by the SIDS Unit of the Division for Sustainable Development of UN/DESA, as part of the "Capacity Development through Education for Sustainable Development and Knowledge Management for Small Island Developing States" project, creating a much needed central knowledge management system to facilitate information sharing and collaboration.

To view the Global Islands Database, click here.

To view the press release announcing the launch of the GID, click here.

SIDS DAY, 10 May, 18th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development

The 18th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18) will be holding a special SIDS DAY on 10 May 2010. Its purpose is:

1. to serve as the PrepCom for the high-level MSI+5 review that will take place in September 2010 (Inter-regional Meeting - 8 May); and

2. to consider progress towards the sustainable development of SIDS within the framework of the thematic cluster under review by the Commission.

On this occasion, the Global Island Partnership will be hosting a SIDS side event: “The Value of Partnerships in Pursuing Environmental Sustainability – Leadership and Commitments by Island Countries.” This side event will be an opportunity to unveil two valuable new tools for SIDS:

The Global Island Database (GID) (See above for more information.)

View the Guide to the GBO-3 here.

Helping Islands Adapt – A Workshop on Regional Action to Combat Invasive Alien Species on Islands to Preserve Biodiversity and Adapt to Climate Change

The workshop "Helping Islands Adapt – A Workshop on Regional Action to Combat Invasive Alien Species on Islands to Preserve Biodiversity and Adapt to Climate Change" was held from 11 to 16 April 2010, in Auckland, New Zealand. Hosted by the Government of New Zealand with support from a number of partner organizations and countries, including the CBD, the meeting was welcomed in CBD decision IX/4 and decision IX/21 relating to invasive alien species and island biodiversity, and builds on efforts under the Cooperative Islands Initiative, a partnership launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development and the CBD’s 6th Conference of the Parties in 2002 (decision VI/23, para. 19). Eighty-two participants from 24 countries and territories, and 29 national, regional and international organisations attended the workshop, which focussed on four major island regions—the Caribbean, the Coral Triangle6, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific—as well as on international support by organisations and networks. The workshop aimed to identify and strengthen mechanisms that enable effective, adaptive and sustainable invasive alien species management for island nations. Outcomes included: 1) Lessons from regional collaboration and coordination. 2) Actions to strengthen invasive alien species management. 3) Networks and resources to facilitate learning and implementation. 4) Key steps within international processes to catalyse and support regional efforts.

The report of the workshop can be found here.

New agreement between the CBD and SPREP

In decision IX/21, the COP encouraged the Executive Secretary to revise the 2003 MoU between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the SCBD. Pursuant to this request, both secretariats enhanced cooperation by signing a new MOU in Feb 2009. The objective of the MOU is to collaborate closely on issues of common interest relating to the three objectives of the CBD. A list of specific joint activities is listed, notably active involvement in GLISPA activities and on issues related to invasive alien species. Furthermore, the secretariats have jointly organized the following workshops:

  1. Pacific Islands Subregional Workshop on Capacity-building for the Implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas, Nadi, Fiji, 9 to 12 February 2009.
  2. Capacity Development Workshop for the Pacific on NBSAPs, the Mainstreaming of Biodiversity and the Integration of Climate Change, Nadi, Fiji, 2 to 6 February 2009
  3. Indigenous communities, tourism and biodiversity workshop series: New Information and Web-based Technologies, 3 to 5 November, 2008

To view the complete MoU, click here.

Final reports of the workshops are available here.

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:

  1. Inspire and recognize leadership and commitments to action for island conservation and sustainable livelihoods;
  2. Strengthen partnerships to support implementation of commitments and to build local long-term conservation capacity;
  3. Facilitate increased public and private funding for island priorities;
  4. Promote targeted and cost-effective collaboration and exchanges among islands;
  5. Engage in effective communication strategies on island issues;
  6. Build linkages between all islands, regardless of political status;
  7. 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).

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme