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Redefining island resilience

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Bonn, November 13, 2017: Islands are on the frontline of global changes and feel the impacts very directly – from climate change and resource depletion, to urban growth, health threats and food pressures. Some of these islands have quite literally disappeared. There is a need for a new model centered on strong multi-sectoral partnerships if islands are to both survive and thrive.

Problems in islands are interconnected and require multi-sector solutions.  For instance, poor water quality can cause health problems, discourage tourism, and contribute to the decline of coral reefs.  Disappearing reefs harm fisheries and also impact tourism. Improving water quality requires investments in energy-intensive infrastructure (like water treatment plants).

To counteract these impacts, over the past decade, there has been a groundswell of island economies that have launched visionary commitments that are delivering significant progress on building resilience and sustainability. Island-led solutions such as Palau National Marine Sanctuary, the Blue Economy vision and Seychelles Debt for Adaptation Swap, the Aloha+ Challenge and the Micronesia Challenge are locally and culturally appropriate models supported by strong partnerships that are driving implementation of the SDGs and other key agreements.

The PIDF team took the opportunity to network and discuss projects in Palau, Fiji and RMI with their genuine partners Precovery Labs and Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) as implementation of resilient, sustainable and equitable development at a local level and strong partnerships are critical to achieving the international community’s shared global agenda.

A series of site visits with stakeholder consultations will be conducted in December 2017 in Palau and Fiji in at least three Pacific islands, and a small number of island champions in other regions, to build capacity for public-private partnerships and local SDG/global agreement implementation.

The meetings and workshops will focus on leveraging proven island models to identify, support and strengthen local collaborative public-private partnerships that can serve as a backbone organization focused on system-level change and initiate the framework to implement SDGs locally, which includes a longer-term process to set high-level goals, develop shared measures to be tracked on an online platform, and develop a project pipeline to achieve 2030 goals.