GLISPA Announces Updates on Regional Challenges, POWIB, Rio+20
July 2011: The July issue of the Global Island Partnership's (GLISPA) Update highlights, among other topics, the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge, Caribbean Challenge, the Hawaii Green Growth Initiative, the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity (POWIB), and a proposal for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) titled “Celebrating Island Leadership in the Green Economy.”
On the Challenges, the Update reviews a national consultation meeting on mobilizing the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge (WIOCC), held in July 2011. In respect of all of the regional Challenges (including the Caribbean Challenge, Micronesia Challenge, Coral Triangle Initiative and Forever Costa Rica), GLISPA and The Nature Conservancy are undertaking a review with the goal of strengthening existing knowledge and understanding of how the Challenge approach is developing. The review will capture and compile stakeholder perspectives on the Challenges, publish a paper or online “practice guide” to document what has been done and lessons learned, and host small workshops to consolidate knowledge across Challenges.
On the Hawaii Green Growth Initiative, the Update notes that a Hawaii Green Growth Initiative (GGI) Working Group is working to advance priorities identified by the new Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Growth Strategy, US State Department and Hawai'i's New Day economic plan, and exploring involvement in the Asia Pacific Clean Energy (APCE) Summit, being held in Hawaii, US, from 13-14 September 2011. The Update also notes that the Hawai'i Conservation Conference was convened from 2-5 August 2011, under the theme “Island Ecosystems: The Year of the Forest” and was aligned with the UN's International Year of the Forests.
On the POWIB, the Update announces the consultants from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) who will produce the in-depth review (IDR) pre-session document for the 16th meeting of the CBD's Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 16). The pre-session document will be prepared in the next few months and undergo peer review in early 2012. According to GLISPA, preliminary discussions within the IDR group indicate growing interest in an Islands Summit to be held at the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the CBD (COP 11) as an opportunity to highlight progress in POWIB projects (such as the island regional challenges), consolidate partnerships for new initiatives and coordinate donor/recipient commitments for the future.
On the Rio+20 proposal, GLISPA notes that the green economy theme presents an opportunity for islands showcase successful large-scale green (and blue) initiatives, such as marine protected areas, multi-country conservation commitments, progressive biosecurity planning and innovative sustainable financing mechanisms to support these programs. The proposal on this matter aims to bring together island countries and countries with islands during the UNCSD to share experiences, highlight island leadership on these issues, and catalyze new commitments for conservation of island biodiversity and sustainable livelihoods. [IISD RS Sources]