Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

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"Islands are leading innovative solutions for the necessity of our people’s and country’s survival. Strong partnerships are critical to making these solutions a reality. I call on you to join our Global Island Partnership to work together to build resilient and sustainable island communities."
H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau and Leader of the Global Island Partnership

High Level Glispa Events

BEST Challenge

BEST initiative as the first interregional GLISPA challenge

BEST Initiative Projects 2011 2018 250W"BEST has helped to raise awareness for the ecological importance of the Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories for conserving global biodiversity and we are working together with the partners to transform BEST into a sustainable partnership. - Humberto Delgado Rosa, Director Natural Capital, European Commission Directorate General for Environment

BEST not only offers an opportunity to cope with problems, but also to engage with sovereign states, islands and I want to see this strengthened.- Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Director, Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity

The BEST Challenge is a commitment to promote conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services, including ecosystem-based approaches to climate adaptation and mitigation in the EU overseas. This will be achieved through strengthening collaborations between sovereign island nations, countries with islands and EU overseas entities by sharing island-led solutions to global challenges. The Challenge also aims to inspire others in the international community to join the movement to build resilient and sustainable island communities around the world.

Launched by the European Commission with the Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands during a high level event at the 13th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-13) in December 2016, the BEST Challenge is the first interregional challenge to be promoted through GLISPA.

Given the urgent need for global action on climate change, sustainability and social development, solutions emerging from the EU overseas can be bright spots to show us how to more rapidly achieve both global sustainable development and conservation goals in Europe and around the world. This will contribute to achieving the CBD’s Strategic Plan and its Aichi Targets, as well as the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate.

From commitment to action

BEST, the voluntary scheme for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories of European overseas,has already committed more than € 13.4 million to finance over 60 projects addressing issues and threats faced by the EU overseas. These projects range from sustainable use of marine and terrestrial resources, to ecosystem services quantification and promotion, ecosystem restoration, conservation of unique ecosystems and endemic species, community based approaches to planning, and improving the knowledge baseline for adaptive decision-making.

BEST has a very interesting approach combining a participative science-based framework that is valuable for informing decision-makers  and a funding mechanism enabling a wide range of stakeholders to define and implement their projects, thus unlocking a great potential.- Carole Martinez, IUCN Senior Programme Coordinator, BEST consortium Coordinator.



An open partnership recognised at international level

BEST was created in 2010 as an open partnership, joined by the French Development Aid Agency (AfD) in 2012. The first two phases provided funding for projects on-the-ground and led to the establishment of BEST as a dedicated European Initiative, which promotes conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services in the 7 regions in which the EU overseas are located.

Alongside the individual projects, BEST has also enhanced general capacity building efforts in the regions and fostered collaboration with stakeholders and authorities. Seven regional ecosystem profiles and investment strategies have been produced through a participatory process, involving relevant local and regional actors. The ecosystem profiles will provide much needed baseline knowledge to stakeholders and the basis for strategic planning and funding of future projects that address the identified priority areas for action in each region.

In addition, BEST seeks to secure long-term funding through the establishment of a much needed dedicated funding mechanism that supports conservation in Europe’s 25 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and 9 Outermost Regions (ORs), which are key allies in achieving European and international biodiversity conservation targets.

The BEST Initiative was acknowledged in Decision XI-15 of the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP), the 2016 World Conservation Congress (motion 070) and now as an interregional challenge by GLISPA.

The Global Island Partnership aims to support BEST bright spots and promote their uptake through sustainable island commitments supported at the highest level of government.

BEST is an instrumental initiative for supporting island leadership and achievements” - Kate Brown, Executive Director, GLISPA

We are very pleased to share with you our new brochure summing up the 90 projects granted through the BEST Initiative supporting actions on the ground in very important regions of the world. Enjoy the reading!

For more information on BEST contact

Carole Martinez- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Major Sustainable Island Commitments

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