Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

Leaders Inspiring Action: GLISPA High Level Event

Date: Wednesday 2 September, evening
Location:INVITATION ONLY, Apia, Samoa, as part of the United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States (UNSIDS)
Host:President of Palau, President of Seychelles and Prime Minister of Grenada as Co-Chairs of GLISPA
Strategic Priority: Building resilient and sustainable island communities through innovative partnerships

Description: This invitation only high level event catalyzed significant new leadership, commitments and partnerships towards conservation of island biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods. This unique event recognized, strengthened and inspired island leadership and support from friends of islands to greater action globally.


  • Palau, H.E. President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. Palau has commutted to advancing protection of oceans by annoucing the Palau Natinal Marine Sanctuary. It will establish a no-take that covers more than 80% of the Palau Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) including a highly regulated Fishing Zone that covers approximately 20% of the EEZ and a complete prohibition on purse seine fishing that covers 100% of the EEZ. In addition, Palau will establish a prohibition on fish exports and create a reformed modern domestic commercial long-line fishing fleet with observer oversight on 100% of its vessels. Read the entire speech here.

  • The Federated States of Micronesia, H.E. President Manny Mori. The President of the Federated States of Micronesia announced that they will allocate USD 2.4 million to advancing the Micronesia Challenge, a commitment made by the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam and Republic of the Marshall Islands in 2008 to conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020. Read the entire speech here.

  • The Republic of the Marshall Islands, H.E. President Christopher Loeak. The Republic of the Marshall Islands provided an update on the Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership that has been adopted by 14 Pacific island countries plus Australia and New Zealand as Pacific Island Forum members. Since it was launched in 2013, the United States and State of Hawaii as well as the European Union, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Japan have signed onto the Declaration. Read the entire speech here.

  • Samoa, H.E. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi. The Prime Minister drew attention to the importance of strong partnerships using GLISPA as an example of such a partnership. He further shared the vision of the joint partnership between Samoa and American Samoa, the Two Samoas’ Initiative. The initiative will ensure long-term sustainability of fish stocks, strengthen the resilience of communities and ecosystems to the effects of climate change, improve water quality and protect the two Samoas from the threat of invasive species. Read the entire speech here.

  • Seychelles, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hon. Jean-Paul Adam on behalf of President James A. Michel. The Republic of Seychelles was joined by Tanzania, Madagascar and Mauritius in launching the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge (WIOCC) by announcing a series of national commitments that will advance a regional vision among coastal communities in the Western Indian Ocean region. Seychelles, having already protected more than half its land territory as natural parks and reserves, announced that they would further conservation efforts by establishing marine protected areas covering 30 percent of its 1.4 million square kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone by 2020, half of which will be no-take zones. Seychelles also announced that they would continue to contribute financing toward the GLISPA coordination until 2016. Read the entire speech here.

  • Tanzania, H.E. Ali Mohamed Shein President of Zanzibar The President of Zanzibar, representing the United Republic of Tanzania, formally joined the WIOCC. In joining the WIOCC, Zanzibar has set targets to declare more than 15% of its coastal and marine ecosystems as marine protected areas and 25% of mangrove under protected forest reserves by 2020 to advance the regional vision. The Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission Mr. Jean Claude de l’Estrac indicated that the IOC would support the WIOCC through projects that will contribute to the regional vision. Read the entire speech here.

  • The State of Hawai‘i, United States of America, Mr. William Aila, Chair of the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources. The State of Hawai‘i, with the U.S. Government, announced the launch of the Aloha+ Challenge, a joint leadership commitment to sustainability for the State of Hawai‘i led by Governor Neil Abercrombie, Hawai‘i’s four county mayors, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). The Aloha+ Challenge sets 2030 targets for clean energy transformation, local food production, natural resource management, waste reduction, smart growth, climate resilience, green job creation and education.  The Aloha+ Challenge is Hawai‘i’s commitment of collaborative action to sustain our oceans, islands and peoples through an integrated approach.

  • Italy, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon. Lapo Pistelli. Italy, currently the President of the European Union, announced their continued interest in working together to renew and strengthen EU’s championship on island issues. To support this, Italy announced its intention to host an island meeting during the Milan EXPO in 2015 as a “unique opportunity for stocktaking on progress made by SIDS and Donors on the outcomes of Samoa’s Conference, to monitor the commitments made in Samoa and to connect them to the themes of the EXPO.” Read the entire speech here.

  • Grenada, Minister of State for ICT, The Hon. Alvin Dabreo. Grenada internationally announced Phase 2 of the Caribbean Challenge Initiative a commitment of The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to conserve and protect at least 20 percent of the Caribbean’s marine and coastal environment by 2020 and to create National Conservation Trust Funds, endowed by sustainable finance mechanisms solely dedicated to funding protected area management. Read the entire speech here.

  • The Bahamas, Minister of the Environment and Housing, The Hon. Kenred Dorsett. The Bahamas announced that they are on track to exceed the Caribbean Challenge Initiative 20% target in advance of the 2020 deadline, and have already established more than 10% of their near-shore coastal areas as protected.  In addition, the Bahamas announced the formal passage of the Bahamas Protected Area Fund (BPAF) legislation and made a commitment of USD2 million to the BPAF as an endowment.