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Building Island Resilience

Building Island Resilience

4 December 2018, Poland: From a Green – Blue Economy perspective, when we speak of resilience, we do not simply imply resilience to climate change although this is an important factor, particularly in the Pacific. When we speak of resilience, we speak of Island or community resilience because a community, when resilient, can better absorb or deal, with a disaster or crisis of any sort, whether climate induced or not, whether natural or man-made. This was part of the message that was disseminated by the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Secretary General, François Martel during a side event held on building national, regional and international partnerships on island resilience held at the Pacific and Koronivia pavilion at COP24.

“Our focus should be to empower communities and individuals to be able to take care of themselves, their families and those members in their communities who need support in times of crisis and one empowers people through education, health, better communication and energy services, better income, water and food security, keeping safer and cleaner environments,” said PIDF Secretary General at the side event.

“These are development goals. Hence the close link between sustainable development that goes beyond the single SDG 13 and resilience therefore brings together all the SDGs and climate action into a single focus,” he further added.

The Island Resilience Initiative (IRI) was launched by the President of Palau at the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, USA in September 2016 and supported by the President of Marshall Islands and Fiji’s Minister of Fisheries. In early 2018 PIDF with its partners Precovery Labs and the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) piloted IRI in three Pacific Island Countries. The initiative led by Precovery Lab, supported by the UNDP-Small Grants Program, focussed on prioritizing SDGs to address local and national reporting on SDGs implementation at the local or community level and island resilience action covering main livelihood securities.

Participants of the side event were informed that PIDF with its partners are now looking at building on the outcomes of the pilot projects in Palau, Fiji and Marshall Islands and expand the initiative to other islands in the Pacific and, with PIDF partners, the Caribbean.

“Let’s remember that at the end of the day, people do not really care about agreements or treaties, framework and plans, strategies and great glossy documents that promise a lot but deliver little, what they do care about is that they find the support needed to plan and prepare for climate-induced disasters, to reduce damage to properties and livelihoods and alleviate their conditions during disasters while fostering faster recovery,” said Secretary General Martel.

He highlighted that ultimately, there is a need to develop a mindset of what the partnership calls – “precovery” where a long-term “precovery” mindset is a combination of networking and scaling data, solutions, planning and investments while removing silos and weaving together practice in mitigation, adaptation, community planning, sustainability, recovery, resilience and maintain our tradition of Pacific storytelling.

This initiative is viewed as an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, SDGs, Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework and the emerging New Urban Agenda as well as the regionally developed Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP) and reinforce ambitious but appropriate and “right-sized” projects and solutions on islands that can be scaled and financed globally with an initial focus on the six IRI pillars, i.e. community resilience, energy, environment, equity, food and water.

For more information you can access the side event video stream at: https://vimeo.com/304340786?fbclid=IwAR37anvmvxrinUOuXInl9Ez5Q27W68ENvqbHTK7USyGqdPlP26Kw1pF4uUA


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