Status of initiative: On track
Description/achievement of initiative

Led by the Presidents of Palau and Seychelles, the Prime Minister of Grenada and the Premier of the British Virgin Islands, the Global Island Partnership promotes action to build resilient and sustainable island communities by inspiring leadership, catalyzing commitments and facilitating collaboration. It is a partnership for all islands, regardless of size or political status, to take greater action to conserve and sustainably utilize invaluable island natural resources that support people, culture and livelihoods around the world.

Implementation methodologies

The Global Island Partnership 2030 Goals: 1. Inspire leadership and catalyze commitments to address critical island issues2. Accelerate implementation of sustainable island commitments3. Ensure a sustainable partnership to achieve the 2030 StrategyThe 2020 Priorities are: 1. Ensure GLISPA is a financially sustainable partnership to achieve its 2030 Strategy2. Launch one new high-level and visionary sustainable island commitment each year3. Accelerate implementation of sustainable island commitments launched and strengthened through GLISPA4. Kick start one high impact demonstration activity from each of: - Innovative financing for a blue/green economy in islands (Support island efforts toward innovative financing through improving connectivity/cohesive direction toward broader goals, changing the narrative around financing; Mobilize island leadership for innovative new tools including debt swaps and the Island Resilience Challenge; Identify innovative financing bright spots (including on access to financing, project pipeline, political will, project design and public private partnerships amongst others) and share these through annual meetings)- Sustainable Coastal Fisheries (Identify and catalyze national level commitments from islands; Create a menu of options for islands to adopt sustainable coastal fisheries that is innovative and which contributes to community sustainability) - Building Resilience (Ecosystem Based Adaptation/Disaster Risk Reduction): Identify early leadership, bright spots and lessons learned from islands on EBA/DRR; Support island leadership on EBA/DRR including through integrating EBA/DRR into existing commitments and mobilizing new commitments)

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

The Global Island Partnership is a unique network of island leaders working to inspire each other to greater action. The Partnership showcases island commitments, such as the Aloha+ Challenge and Micronesia Challenge, as bright spots on the international stage to inspire new leadership and encourage investment to scale and replicate what works. For example, the Micronesia Challenge launched in 2006, led to similar large scale commitments being announced in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Western Indian Ocean. In 2015, Seychelles launched the world's first debt for adaptation swap to finance climate change adaptation and marine spatial planning goals as part of their Blue Economy vision. The debt swap is a high-impact initiative that was supported by The Nature Conservancy, Seychelles and GLISPA and is now being adapted by other countries through GLISPA and TNC.

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure

The Global Island Partnership is a solution-focused and impactful partnership able to mobilize significant action through its Members and broader participant network. Review our Impact Dashboard In 2016, the year GLISPA celebrates a decade of collective impact on islands, the Partnership launched its 2030 Strategy. The Strategy design and implementation is led by a dedicated and passionate Steering Committee comprised of the GLISPA Members. Each Member contributes USD5,000 annually to support a sustainable partnership capable of delivering on the 2030 Strategy. An Executive Committee, a subgroup of the Steering Committee, provides oversight on governance and sustainability matters and is convened by the Steering Committee Chair, Palau’s US Ambassador, Hersey Kyota. The Steering Committee meets bi-annually: once by web conference as well as through an annual in-person meeting in October. The Global Island Partnership is a collaborative and inclusive partnership open to any entity committed to promoting action to build resilient and sustainable island communities. Participants are generally individuals, governments, agencies and organizations that want to work together toward common goals for islands. Participants are not required to pay a member fee and are welcome to join working groups such as on innovative financing in blue and green economies, sustainable coastal fisheries as well as building resilience through ecosystem-based adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Interested individuals and entities are welcome to engage in working group and can be invited by the Chair to attend the annual Steering Committee as an observer. It is expected that observers will become members after their 2nd Steering Committee meeting. The Global Island Partnership is recognized as a mechanism for advancing the conservation of island biodiversity Decision IX/21, CBD COP9 (2008) and Decision XI/15, CBD COP11 (2012) further invites Parties to engage with GLISPA as an effective partner to support conservation of island biodiversity; as a best practice partnership by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, 2010); as a success factor in preparations for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). In 2014, the President of Palau was named Champion of the Earth for policy leadership nationally and globally as a GLISPA Leader.


GLISPA Members: Palau, Seychelles, Grenada, British Virgin Islands, Association for Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA), Conservation International, County of Hawai’i, Municipality of Cozumel, Global Environment Facility, GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP, Hawai’i Green Growth, Indian Ocean Commission, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Italy, Micronesia Conservation Trust, Okeanos - Foundation for the Sea, Pacifico Foundation, Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF), PRECOVERY Labs, Rare, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Seasteading Institute, Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity, State of Hawai’i, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, The Nature Conservancy and Waitt Foundation, Waitt Institute and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). GLISPA Supporters: European Commission and U.S. State Department. GLISPA Friends: More than 30+ friends support strategy implementation including Governments, NGOs/IGO, Island Entities and private sector and philanthropists. See the GLISPA Impact Dashboard
Micronesia Challenge
Seychelles launched the world's first debt for adaptation swap to finance climate change adaptation and marine spatial planning goals as part of their Blue Economy vision
Sustainable Development Goals and targets
Goal 14
14.2 - By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
14.4 - By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
14.5 - By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
14.7 - By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
14.b - Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Goal 17
17.1 - Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection
17.3 - Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
17.6 - Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
17.7 - Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed
Capacity-Building -
17.9 - Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation
Systemic issues - Policy and Institutional coherence
17.14 - Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
17.15 - Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development

Multi-stakeholder partnerships
17.16 - Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
17.17 - Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability
17.18 - By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
17.19 - By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries
Resources devoted to implementation
Financing (in USD)
5,000 USD
Progress reports
  • 2017 (26 June 2017)
  • 2016 (4 April 2016)
Cut off date each year: 1 July
This initiative fulfils the SMART criteria.
Location: Supported 33 countries to launch major sustainable island commitments
Date of completion: 12/2030
Operating in countries
Contact information/focal point(s)
Jessica Robbins,

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