This years International Day for Biodiversity is dedicated to Island Biodiversity and coincides with the designation by the UN General Assembly proclaiming 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States. The theme was chosen to correspond with the timing of COP decision XI/15 paragraph 1(a), in which the Conference of the Parties “urges Parties, and invites other Governments, financial institutions and other relevant organizations to strengthen the implementation of the Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity”.
To mark the occasion, the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) – a key partner of the Biodiversity and Community Health Initiative (BaCH) dedicated a publication with contributions from the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) on island conservation and sustainability to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
The Convention’s Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity, adopted in 2006 by the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, provides a strategic framework to significantly reduce island biodiversity loss, thereby contributing to poverty alleviation and the sustainable development of islands. The programme contributes to meeting at least 14 of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as the Barbados Programme of Action and the Millennium Development Goals. As the publication shows, these projects, several of which also support community involvement, are making a difference in advancing conservation and sustainable livelihoods, with a strong focus on community involvement for long-term sustainability solutions.
The publication features initiatives such as the Program for Island Resilience, to create local participation and community support for the goals of the Micronesia Challenge. The program centers on creating a community-driven education and behaviour change campaigns to restore and maintain healthy reefs and resilient livelihoods. These campaigns seek to inspire people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their communities unique while introducing alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. Read more here