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Guam to engage in UN Small Island Developing States Conference

Updated: May 27

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The Local2030 Islands Network will host its 3rd Leaders' Summit at the Small Island Developing States Conference, or SIDS4, in Antigua and Barbuda on May 29.

The event will build upon previous leader meetings at the UN General Assembly and Our Ocean Conference in Palau.

Island heads of state and dignitaries from developed and developing island economies will gather in a peer-to-peer setting, fostering collaborative discussions on shared priorities, action plans, technical requirements, available resources, and collaborative opportunities on shared sustainable development and climate action goals in local and culturally contextualized approaches. 

Guam is a founding member of the Local2030 Islands Network.

The U.S. territory implements principles of the network through Guam Green Growth, a comprehensive public-private initiative advancing the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

The Micronesia Conservation Trust and Micronesia Challenge are sponsoring Guam leadership participation at SIDS4.

Lt. Gov. Joshua F. Tenorio will serve as the moderator of the roundtable discussion during the Local2030 Islands Network Leaders’ Summit.

Participants will include U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr., and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne. 

“Islands are on the frontlines of climate change impact. Engaging with fellow island nation and territory leaders at SIDS4 is a valuable opportunity to continue our collective push toward a sustainable global future,” Tenorio said. “Our work through Guam Green Growth is recognized globally as a bright spot among islands for sustainable development. We have much to share and much to learn at this U.N. convening for islands.” 

Tenorio will also deliver key remarks during the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) strategic high-level reception during SIDS4 on behalf of GLISPA leader, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

The purpose of this event is to catalyze significant new leadership, commitments, and partnerships toward achieving SDGs specific to islands, with a special focus on conservation and sustainability. It will be an opportunity to announce new and substantial commitments toward building resilient and sustainable island communities, including:

  • Launch of new 2030 GLISPA Strategy

  • Announcements on Micronesia Challenge 2030, Caribbean Challenge Initiative and others.

Tenorio will speak to the significant progress made in the Micronesia Challenge since it was founded in 2006, The Micronesia Challenge, launched by Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau with a goal of effectively conserving at least 30 percent of the near-shore marine resources and 20 percent of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020 has leveraged $82 million for conservation efforts. 

It has placed over 70 new areas under conservation across all jurisdictions, and there has been an improvement in science-to-management decision-making with 20 new fisheries management policies enacted based on marine data. 

It has also led to the development of over 70 management plans or climate change adaptation plans and the completion of 65 socio-economic assessments. 

Dr. Austin Shelton, a member of the Local2030 Islands Network Steering Committee, will join Tenorio in Guam’s engagements at SIDS4.

Shelton serves as the director of the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability and Sea Grant, and co-chair of the Guam Green Growth Steering Committee.

“We have important lessons to share with other islands through our progress tracked on the Guam Green Growth Dashboard. We also will learn innovations from others to bring back home and accelerate our work,” Shelton said.

“I am looking forward to strengthening our partnerships with GLISPA, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Blue Planet Alliance, and others to increase opportunities for our island communities.”  (GGG)


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