Global Island Partnership (GLISPA)

“The Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), is an excellent example of intra-island partnership that we believe we must champion in Samoa. Connecting our islands, across our oceans, helps share ideas and also mobilise more resources for island initiatives.” H.E. James Michel, President of the Republic of Seychelles and Co-Chair of GLISPA, opening statement at the Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) SIDS regional preparatory meeting, July 2013.

The Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) assists islands in addressing one of the world’s greatest challenges — to conserve and sustainably utilize invaluable island natural resources that support people, cultures and livelihoods in their island homes around the world.

It is a partnership for all islands, regardless of size or political status, to take bold steps towards greater sustainability. It provides a global platform that enables islands to work together to develop solutions to common problems and to take high-level commitments and actions that address these global challenges.

More information can also be found here.

Key Information
28 October 2011
Until 2012
Case Study

The GLISPA program was launched in 2006, at the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). GLISPA is recognized by the CBD as a partnership to advance the implementation of the CBD 2010 target to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss and the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity (IBPoW) and Protected Areas. This is the key to GLISPA, as the partnership has a strong focus on implementation and, it is at this, that GLISPA has been particularly successful.

The Coordination Unit of GLISPA is hosted by IUCN’s Office in Washington DC. The Coordinator overseas the GLISPA activities, supports GLISPA governance and promotes the partnership. A Steering Committee was established whose role is to govern GLISPA, facilitate new and existing commitments to action with a focus on leveraging support and resources, track progress on the GLISPA strategy and give strategic vision to the partnership.

Results Achieved: 

GLISPA has grown rapidly since its establishment as an informal network. It has helped to catalyze more than $100 million USD in commitments to island conservation and connected more than 60 nations and organizations to advance the work on island conservation. Some of the commitments that have been launched at GLISPA events and that GLISPA continues to support are: the Phoenix Islands Protected Area Micronesia Challenge, Caribbean Challenge, the Global Island Database, New Zealand Government’s Invasives Activities in particular the Helping Islands Adapt workshop which involved all the SIDS regions and others. GLISPA is currently working with the Government of the Seychelles on a Western Indian Ocean Challenge and is enabling inter-regional as well as inter-island sharing of experiences through the partnership.

Main Activities: 

GLISPA’s primary role is to facilitate dialogue between islands in order to implement actions to conserve island biodiversity and enable sustainable use of the natural resources and sustainable livelihoods for island people.

Future Replicability
Lessons Learned: 

Effective Partnerships
• By maintaining a flexible and efficient partnership responsive to its partners’ needs and aspirations, GLISPA has been able to maintain and expand involvement by many different stakeholders around the world.

Good Governance
• GLISPA recognizes the important role of the Chairs of the GLISPA Partnership, the Presidents of the Seychelles and Palau. These Chairs provide strategic leadership to the partnership, promote good governance through their steering committee representatives and give suitable gravitas to GLISPA activities.

• Having clear strategies and objectives has enabled GLISPA to move forward in a common direction ensuring true collaboration with partners that has resulted in effective implementation. Partners have been able to dedicate resources (both staff and financial) to implement the GLISPA Strategy because of these clear strategies as they enable partners to identify where their objectives are common with the partnerships.

Celebrating Success
• By recognizing the success stories that islands have accomplished we sustain momentum and support for the work. It also aids in gaining recognition for the partners involved at the global, regional and local scale, providing new opportunities for new partnerships, projects and resources.

Key to Success for Future Replicability: 

Connected experience
• GLISPA has helped to foster more than 12 major island commitments. These initiatives have shared their invaluable knowledge and experience with the GLISPA partners in order to further best practice island conservation and to catalyze other island leadership.

Leveraged funds
• GLISPA has helped catalyze more than $100 million USD in commitments to island conservation.

Establishment of a strong partnership
• GLISPA has successfully maintained active communications on the full range of island issues with more than 530 island states, organizations and stakeholders through the GLISPA partnership, and this number continues to grow.

Recommended Follow-Up:
GLISPA is committed to continue to support the outstanding leadership and extraordinary commitments of all its dedicated participants, and to sharing island successes and lessons with the world.


Focal point(s) in lead country/organization
Kate Brown
Global Island Partnership