World Conservation Congress adopts motion on Island Biodiversity and livelihoods

The World Conservation Congress (WCC) of IUCN that is taking place in Jeju, Republic of Korea has adopted the following Motion on conserving island biodiversity and supporting human livelihoods
M074
Conserving island biodiversity and supporting human livelihoods
RECOGNIZING islands and their surrounding waters cover one-sixth of the world's surface, representing one quarter of the nations of the world, containing 16% of the planet's known plant species, and over half of the world's tropical marine biodiversity, with over 20% of global coral atolls and lagoons in French Polynesia alone;

RECOGNIZING the deteriorating overall situation of island biodiversity due to invasive alien species, destruction of habitat and overharvesting, impacts of climate change, and particularly in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) the limited human, technical and financial capacity to effectively manage island biodiversity;

NOTING the Resolution 4.067 Advancing island conservation and sustainable livelihoods adopted by the 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress (Barcelona, 2008);

NOTING the Resolution 4.079 European Union and its overseas entities faced with climate change and biodiversity loss, also adopted by the 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress (Barcelona, 2008);

RECOGNIZING the special vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and in particular United Nations General Assembly Resolution 65/2 of October 2010 which recognised the objectives of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) as vital and indispensable elements of achieving sustainable development in SIDS;

HIGHLIGHTING the importance of the CBD’s Island Biodiversity Programme of Work, and the role of IUCN in supporting Small Island States and island territories in the implementation of this Programme of Work, and highlighting the role of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) as a mechanism to support its implementation including in inspiring high level leadership, catalyzing commitments, and facilitating collaboration among all islands;

FURTHER RECOGNIZING the ecological and regional connections between many SIDS, countries with islands and the Outermost regions (ORS) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of Europe, which are situated in biodiversity hotpots of global ecological significance and have the potential to strengthen the sharing of lessons and best practice;

CONCERNED about information gaps, invasive species, increasing impacts of climate change, over harvesting, disaster risk and vulnerability, and forced migration, all as they relate to the specific situation of islands;

HIGHLIGHTING that while invasive species are one of the single most important threats to biodiversity, on most islands the current quantum of investment needed at all levels is not sufficient to address this threat adequately;

WELCOMING the steps taken by IUCN to recognize the particular needs of islands and to establish the Global Island Initiative, the IUCN Caribbean Initiative 2009–2012 and the IUCN programme on EU Outermost Regions and Overseas Countries and Territories and the support provided to the Global Islands Partnership;

RECOGNIZING the significant island leadership and efforts to achieve global conservation targets and sustain livelihoods of island people through the Coral Triangle Initiative, Micronesia Challenge, Caribbean Challenge Initiative, and the developing Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge and Far West Africa Conservation Challenges, New Zealand’s efforts on invasive alien species, and the recent inscription of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (Hawaii) as two of the largest World Heritage sites;

FURTHER RECOGNIZING the importance of regional initiatives such as the Pacific Island Roundtable for Nature Conservation, the Western Indian Ocean Consortium, the Pacific Invasives Partnership (PIP), the European Island Biodiversity Working Group of the Bern Convention and the Europe Overseas Roundtable on Biodiversity and Climate Change in promoting collaboration, a shared vision and action towards sustaining island biodiversity and addressing the challenges of climate change; and

HIGHLIGHTING the potential of islands to be models for the blue/green economy and for integrating various models of sustainable development at a manageable scale;

The World Conservation Congress, at its session in Jeju, Republic of Korea, 6–15 September 2012:
1. WELCOMES the leadership provided by the Director General in:
a. The development of the Global Island Initiative and appointment of staff for comprehensive implementation;
b. The support by hosting GLISPA within IUCN to ensure its continued success as an important platform for island action, leadership and collaboration, and its continued role in supporting the CBD Programmes of Work on Island Biodiversity and Protected Areas and related policies; and
c. Including oceans, coastal areas and islands as a mid-term, programme priority under the business model for IUCN 2013–2016; and

2. REQUESTS the Director General to:
a. Undertake an independent review of the Global Island Initiative with due consideration of opportunities to transition the Initiative to an appropriately resourced IUCN Global Islands Programme to enhance implementation of the IUCN One Programme;
b. Invest in the development of a Global Islands Portfolio of activities to conserve island biodiversity and related climate change issues, with a clear focus on the vital Red-Listing process for island species and ecosystems, invasive species, ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation and mitigation, and greening island economies, and including pilot projects involving communities;
c. Increase financial support to GLISPA as an implementation mechanism of the CBD Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity, to catalyze and strengthen island leadership, and ensure collaboration of supporting partners; and
d. Enhance efforts to strengthen representation and governance mechanisms in support of conserving island biodiversity, nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation and mitigation and greening island economies within IUCN and with partners and stakeholders, taking advantage of island Members, IUCN National Committees, and Members’ networks and platforms of island-related activities.

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