President Faure new co-leader of GLISPA
October 17, 2016
President Danny Faure became the new Seychelles leader of the Global Island Partnership when he was sworn in on Sunday, succeeding Mr James Michel as one of GLISPA’s four co-leaders.
President Michel chaired GLISPA until last year when the chair rotated to President Tommy Remengesauof Palau in the Pacific. The other co-leaders are Prime Minister Keith Mitchell of Grenada and Premier Orlando Smith of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.
President Faure joins the leadership just after GLISPA, which is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year, re-structured itself at its annual meeting in Washington DC last week following an expansion of the partnership with new members from Hawaii and the launching of new sustainable island initiatives around the world.
The governors of Hawaii, Jeju, the largest island of South Korea, and Japan’s Okinawa island have signed a memorandum of understanding under the GLISPA umbrella to promote collaboration on sustainability issues, including co-hosting a Green Island Sustainability Summit next year to promote the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The European Union is looking into the possibility of declaring a biodiversity initiative spanning its island territories around the world into GLISPA’s first inter-regional partnership.
GLISPA’s new board is chaired by Mr Hersey Kyota, Palau’s Ambassador to the United States as representative of President Remengesau. Seychelles ambassador Ronny Jumeau, who chaired the former Steering Committee under President Michel’s term, is vice-chair and Mrs Kate Brown the executive director.
GLISPA’s mission is to promote action to build resilient and sustainable island communities by inspiring leadership, catalysing commitments and facilitating collaboration for all islands, irrespective of their size or political status.
Since its formation in 2006 – following a call by presidents Michel and Remengesau for such a partnership for all islands at the 2004 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference in Mauritius – GLISPA has catalysed US$145 million for islands across the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific. This includes Seychelles’ US$22-million debt-for adaptation swap with the Paris Club and South Africa.
It was four years ago that then Vice-President Danny Faure committed Seychelles, at a GLISPA-supported event at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, commonly known as the Rio+20 Summit, to protect 30 percent of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) provided adequate funding could be raised through a debt swap.
Amb Jumeau ?report?ed?at? last week’s?GLISPA? ?meeting in? the US capital?? that the? ?Seychelles debt? ?swap? was officially launched? at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last December and that its first (financial) phase was completed early this year after some five years of negotiations?.
The next step is to identify the? 30 percent of Seychelles’ ?ocean territory that is to be protected by 2020 in? consultation with all the various stakeholders.
Mr Jumeau also ?announced ?that the Vice-President who had made the Rio+20 commitment on behalf of Seychelles would ?this ?past ?Sunday? be sworn in as? the islands’? new President, ?with Mr Faure ?succeeding Mr Michel as a co-leader of GLISPA dedicated to protecting and promoting the environment as a means to strengthen island resilience and implement sustainable development and climate action.