Building island resilience in Hawaii and globally
A draft Global Action Plan (GAP) focused on food and nutrition challenges affecting Small Island Developing States (SIDS), will be addressed in a three-day Roundtable Technical meeting facilitated by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) on November 1-3, 2016, in Suva at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

Left to Right: Ambassador Kyota of Palau, President Remengesau of Palau, Governor Ige and First Lady Amano-Ige of Hawai’i, Ambassador Uludong of Palau at the reception for the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders.
Photo: courtesy of the East West Center
The President of Palau, H.E. Tommy Remengesau Jr. and Governor of Hawaii, The Hon. David Ige, have taken steps to promote action in building resilient and sustainable island communities, locally and globally with a series of announcements in Hawaii during the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Recognizing that problems on islands are interconnected and are being increasingly and severly threatened from more severe weather alongside resource depletion, urban growth, health threats and food pressures, the President of Palau as Leader of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA). launched the new Island Resilience Initiative.

“Today, I announce the commitment of our partnership to supporting a long-term effort to scale island models, through the Island Resilience Initiative. This Initiative will support islands by helping to establish cohesive and aligned policy implementation efforts around the globe. It will also create a pipeline of pilot projects and programs on which allow investment, which are scalable in size and which will impact our islands and our oceans for the benefit of the larger global community," stated the President during the launch at a reception hosted by Governor Ige at Washington Place during the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders.

The island-led Initiative, being implemented by GLISPA with financial support from the GEF Small Grants Programme implemented by UNDP and Italy, is a global effort to scale and adapt visionary island models, such as the Micronesia Challenge and Aloha+ Challenge.

The Aloha+ Challenge, for example, builds on Hawai‘i’s history of systems-thinking, indigenous knowledge, culture and values that set six ambitious 2030 goals in clean energy, local food production, natural resource management, solid waste reduction, smart sustainable communities and climate resilience, and green workforce and education. The Aloha+ Challenge model, inspired by the Micronesia Challenge, and connected through GLISPA, are innovative models that can be scaled and adapted by cities, states and countries globally to deliver in a locally and culturally appropriate way on the SDGs.

"As a public-private partnership, Hawai‘i Green Growth looks forward to working with the State of Hawai‘i, GLISPA, UNDP and other partners on the Island Resilience Initiative to scale place-based sustainability models like the Aloha+ Challenge. This is an important opportunity to build capacity locally to support the implementation of the global climate and Sustainable Development Goals, and will be a lasting legacy for Hawai‘i and island leaders after the IUCN World Conservation Congress,” said Celeste Connors, Executive Director for Hawaii Green Growth and Professor at Johns Hopkins University SAIS.

Led by the Presidents of Palau and Seychelles as well as the Prime Minister of Grenada and Premier of the British Virgin Islands, the Global Island Partnership promotes action to build resilient and sustainable island communities. It is a partnership for all islands, regardless of size or political status, committed to taking significant action for conservation and sustainability. To learn more about the outcomes for islands at the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and IUCN World Conservation Congress, please read the Global Island Partnership Event Spotlight: Building Island Resilience in Hawai’i as well as the Global Island Partnership: Members in Action Report. To learn more about GLISPA, go to: www.glispa.org or email jessica.robbins@glispa.org.
Copyright 2016 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs