Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

Implementing the programme of work on island biodiversity: Lessons and Challenges

Date: 30 April 2012, 1:15pm to 2:45pm Location: Room 7A, Level 3, ICAO Headquarters, Montreal, Canada Host: Republic of Seychelles Description: Since adoption in 2006, the programme of work on island biodiversity (PoWIB) has stimulated island leadership and action to protect, manage and sustainably use the unique, diverse and threatened natural resources found on islands. This event illustrated some of the successes and lessons in implementing PoWIB as well as the process of the in-depth review.  Some highlights included:
  • Alissa Takesy (Federated States of Micronesia) speaking about the Micronesia Challenge highlighted that the recent 17th Micronesian Chief Executives’ Summit (MCES) passed a resolution that urges the member jurisdictions of the Micronesia Challenge to endorse the comprehensive sustainable finance plan for the implementation of marine and terrestrial conservation and climate change adaptation.
  • Nenenteiti Teariki-Ruatu (Kiribati) speaking on behalf of the Phoenix Island Protected Area (PIPA) highlighted that PIPA has reduced and reversed trends in the rate of loss and degradation of natural habitat with island restoration programmes. Four of eight islands have had key invasive species removed. PIPA has also invested in biosecurity planning and implementation to prevent further invasive species introductions.
  • Ambassador Jumeau (Seychelles) emphasized that Seychelles is in a strong position to learn from the efforts in the Caribbean and Micronesia and further improve on these as it builds Western Indian Ocean-Coastal Challenge (WIO-CC).
  • Dominique Benzanken (IUCN) highlighted the opportunities that are emerging from recent discussions in Europe towards greater collaboration amongst European overseas islands.
  • Oliver Hillel (SCBD) noted that one fourth of the contributions to the in-depth review were from UK and EU overseas islands.
  • Oliver Langrand (Island Conservation) will co-chair the GLISPA Invasive Species Working Group focused on reducing the threat of invasive species. Island Conservation will today launch their “Small Islands, Big Difference” campaign targeted at eradication of invasive vertebrates today during their side event.
  • Dr. Floyd Homer (Trinidad and Tobago) spoke of the challenges for islands in achieving the goals of the programme of work on island biodiversity. He highlighted that in many instances resources are available and that a key issue is integration of biodiversity objectives and the NBSAP into line ministries so that the NBSAP objectives can be implemented.
  • Kate Brown (GLISPA) stated that GLISPA is successful because it is a focussed partnership working in three key areas:  inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and to facilitating collaboration – as it relates to implementing the GLISPA mission of mobilising action for conservation and sustainable livelihoods..
  • Jessica Robbins, GLISPA, announced the launch of a new Islands Communications Toolkit (www.commstoolkit.org), funded by the Government of Netherlands through the SCBD that demonstrates how communications, education and public awareness strategies can be used to inspire leaders, stimulate behavior change and create global awareness to conservation biodiversity. The toolkit showcases examples from islands, for islands. Jessica also launched the new GLISPA website and annual report (www.glispa.org).
  • Gerald Miles (The Nature Conservancy) in closing summarized three central messages:
    • It is clear that we can’t truly implement the objectives of the Convention without addressing loss of biodiversity on islands;
    • It is entirely possible for island countries to address this considering the importance of biodiversity and livelihoods and the actions that islands are taking themselves;
    • None of this will be possible without partnership between islands and partnership between islands and the international community. Gerald further stated that “GLISPA embodies this principle of partnership entirely and today’s event demonstrates the relevance of GLISPA in bringing together islands, countries with islands and partners together.”
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