Promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities

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GLISPA @Convention on Biodiversity 14th Conference of the Parties

SHARM EL SHEIK, Egypt — In November 2018, the GLOBAL ISLAND PARTNERSHIP (GLISPA) participated at the biennial Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 14).

GLISPA is part of Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) decision from 2008 (Island Biodiversity Decision COP IX) as a mechanism to implement the Convention’s Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity.

Every two years there is another Conference of the Parties (COP) for the CBD, with the 14th being held in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt in November 2018.

With a smaller participation than at some of the larger COP’s due to security concerns, GLISPA with the support of the Convention on Biodiversity Secretariat and the European Commission organised a side event focussed on reporting progress on multi-country commitments (the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund and Caribbean Challenge Initiative, BEST Challenge, Palau National Marine Sanctuary and Micronesia Challenge, Seychelles Debt for Adaptation Swap and Marine Spatial Plan) as a means to inspire other islands to consider their own ambitious and measurable commitments as we head to 2020 and the post 2020 biodiversity framework.

GLISPA also supported our members on a number of other side events, including:

  • the side event on invasive species and islands (together with Island Conservation and IUCN SSG) BEYOND BIODIVERSITY: SCALING UP INVASIVE SPECIES ERADICATIONS ON ISLANDS, and
  • the side event on sustainable tourism and islands (with GLISPA Leader Seychelles and Linking Tourism and Conservation) TOURISM SUPPORTING BIODIVERSITY: THE CASE OF ISLAND STATES

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We plan to work with our members and other islands to hold a high level event at the October 2020 CBD COP in China and have developed a two year roadmap to prepare for this which we have titled “Our Wealth of Islands”. We believe that islands have contributed a wealth of solutions to conserve and protect biodiversity and we are aware that much more can be done. To make these solutions a reality, we need to continue to encourage investment into island solutions, to strengthen the partnerships and mechanisms and to build the movement of formidable leaders and bold champions that are building island resilience and galvanizing long-term, deep change.

We see 2019 as an institutional stepping stone to enable the Partnership to convene and to coordinate across island regions to consolidate the progress of islands as well as to understand the next set of commitments that could be launched by islands over the next decade.
The urgency is growing: Back when GLISPA was launched in 2006 (13 years ago), we saw the climate emergency and extinction crisis and its impacts on islands. We expected that we would have gone further in addressing it. We do not give up hope though and in 2020 we will work to mobilize the high level political will behind island-led commitments which are measurable and ambitious to be launched at CBD COP15 as well as high level support of islands at CBD COP15 to deliver on the post 2020 CBD agreement which takes into account this urgency.
We look forward to working with our members and partners to implement this roadmap, with members having an opportunity to input in our GLISPA Council Call which we plan to have in the first quarter of 2019.

GLISPA’s efforts with COP 14 was supported by the Convention on Biodiversity Secretariat and the European Commission.

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