Islands’ biodiversity is especially important due to the high number of endemic species they harbour and particularly threatened as islands are facing high impacts from climate change with rising sea level, increased ocean temperature and acidity affecting their surrounding marine environment , as well as more frequent and violent storms. Islands’ ecosystems also face threats like invasive species and development. Conserving islands’ biodiversity thanks to sustainable development is key to achieve international conservation targets.
The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States conference held in Apia, Samoa, in early September was attended by about 4000 participants from 115 countries. Its overarching theme was "The sustainable development of small island developing States through genuine and durable partnerships".
The Conference included multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues, held in parallel with the plenary meetings.
The Conference’s notable results include:
• An outcome document - The Samoa Pathway, SIDS Accelerated Modalities Of Action (S.A.M.O.A)-, framing commitments under the big themes of Oceans, Energy and People
• 297 partnerships registered between governments, businesses and civil society organizations
• A total value of these commitments at over USD $1.9 Billion (estimated by the UN).
EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) as they are mostly islands face similar issues. At the conference British Virgin Island (BVI), as Chair of OCTA (Overseas Countries and Territories Association) used its intervention during the General Debate to place a spotlight on the partnership between the EU and OCTs. The BVI Deputy Premier in his statement highlighted that many of the OCTs themselves are listed as SIDS by the UN and that the EU is supporting their sustainable development in a number of areas that can serve as a model for international engagement with other SIDS.
Click here to view BVI Deputy Premier’s intervention
Click here for the written statement
Click here to read the commitments announced during the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) high-level event “Leaders Inspiring Action”
Read more (UN summary of the conference)