Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

H.E. Ronny Jumeau

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Vice Chair (2015 to 2017) of the Steering Committee (Chair 2012 to 2015)
President’s representative
2015 to 2017 Member

Ronald (Ronny) Jumeau, representative of the President of Seychelles on the Board of the Global Island Partnership, is also Seychelles’ Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to the United Nations, Ambassador to the United States and unofficial ambassador for climate change, sustainable development, oceans and other SIDS issues. He is also the Alternate Member of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), representing Small Island Developing States(SIDS), and a Member of the Executive Council of SIDS DOCK, the global sustainable energy and climate resilience organisation for Small Island Developing States(SIDS). He was Chair of the GLISPA Steering Committee from 2013 to 2015 and is currently the Seychelles board member.

The Hon. Dr Kedrick Pickering

British Virgin Islands
The Hon. Dr Kedrick Pickering
Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour

Dr. Pickering is currently serving his fifth term in elective office, since 2011, having resoundingly won his district in the last elections. He has, throughout his life, been deeply involved in community development and has also had a longstanding interest in matters pertaining to the environment. He has served for several years on the board of the BVI National Parks Trust and now, in his capacity as a Minister of Government, he has played a central role in the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, intended to catalyze the high-level political will needed to protect and better manage marine and coastal resources across the region, the European Union (EU)-Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) Forum, and the BVI’s Climate Change Policy. A physician by training, specialized in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Pickering continues to maintain a private practice as Obstetrician/Gynecologist and co-owner of a multi-disciplinary medical practice in the British Virgin Islands. Dr. Pickering is married to Alice née Henry and they have four children.

1. Why have you joined the Global Island Partnership?

The British Virgin Islands joined Global Island Partnership to share our experience as an island with our partners in preserving our environment, which include biodiversity conservation 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.

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.

Celeste Connors

Hawai’i Green Growth
Executive Director
Advisor on high-impact initiatives
2016 to 2018 Member

Celeste Connors has twenty years of experience working at the intersection of economic, environment, energy, and international development policy. Before joining Hawai'i Green Growth, she was CEO and co-founder of cdots development LLC, which works to build resilient infrastructure and services in vulnerable communities. Celeste previously served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change at the National Security Council and National Economic Council in the White House where she helped shape the Administration's climate and energy policies. Prior to joining the White House, Celeste served as a diplomat in Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Germany. She also held positions at the U.S. Mission to the UN, served as the Climate and Energy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and worked for City of New York. Celeste is faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in the Energy, Resources and Environment Program. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in International Relations from Tufts University. In addition to her role on the board of GLISPA, Celeste is a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of America’s Service Commission. Celeste grew up on the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i. She is committed to building innovative financing and community-driven solutions to global challenge based on island values, including the local implementation of the UN SDGs through platforms like the Aloha+ Challenge.

Radhika Murti

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
A.i. Director
Global Ecosystem Management Programme
IUCN Focal Point as host of GLISPA Coordination Team
2016 to 2018 Member

Radhika Murti is the Director a.i., for IUCN’s Global Ecosystem Management Programme. In this position Radhika leads IUCN's global work on ecosystem based disaster risk reduction, provides leadership and oversight to work in Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA), Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) and Drylands related work. Additionally, the programme is also responsible for the hosting arrangement and membership engagement for the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) network. Prior to joining IUCN Headquarters in Switzerland, in 2008, Radhika worked with the United Nations Development Programme Multi-Country office, University of the South Pacific and the Government of Fiji, while based in Suva, Fiji Islands. She works with various island regions to promote Nature based Solutions for Societal Resilience and engages with GLISPA to promote island leadership within such initiatives.

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.

Grammenos Mastrojeni

Assistant Director General, Coordinator for Environment and Science at the Italian Development Cooperation, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Italian Development Cooperation
Founding supporter and host of GLISPA’s first 2007 Strategy Meeting, Rome

Grammenos is a diplomat, professor and writer – with 8 books, numerous articles, and other texts published by official organizations - focusing for the last 20 years on societal, geo-strategic and economic impacts of environmental degradation. Grammenos sits on multiple boards and committees including Chair of the Mountain Partnership which collaborates with GLISPA.

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!

Ariane Steins-Meier

Director, Global Development (Europe)
Host of Executive Director
2015 to 2019 Member
Chair Growth Working Group

Oliver Hillel

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Program Officer
SCBD Focal Point on Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity
2016 to 2018 Member

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.

Susi Menazza

Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Chair Launch Working Group
2016 to 2018 Member

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.