Local2030 Islands Network Secretariat Summary
July 15, 2021
The Local 2030 Islands Network convened a virtual side event hosted by Ireland at the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) ‘Island Responses to COVID-19 – In the Context of Climate Resilience and Sustainable Development through the Local2030 Islands Network’, on July 12, 2021. Leaders, high-level officials, and stakeholders from numerous island economies, including Ireland, the United States, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Grenada and Guam shared perspectives on their approaches to a green, resilient and equitable COVID-19 recovery to address climate change and achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Island leaders voiced their enthusiasm and support for the Local2030 Islands Network. Participants engaged in a collaborative discussion on locally relevant and culturally appropriate solutions to climate change that can be scaled for global impact. Participants exchanged experiences on challenges catastrophic weather events and the reliance on tourism, which was exacerbated by COVID-19, and the need to diversify the economy and invest in food security. They emphasized the critical actions that will be taken by the Local2030 Islands Network, which supports peer-to-peer learning to achieve ambitious, community-driven development goals, and welcomed the technical assistance, knowledge sharing, and capacity building that will be provided through the Network. Participants further agreed that island economies, with their distinct geographies and history of systems-thinking, cultural practices, and local wisdom are positioned to lead in innovative nature-based solutions to achieve a clean energy transition, climate resilience, and a circular economy.
Island leaders discussed initiatives that the Local2030 Islands Network will undertake, including peer-to-peer learning and communities of practice across the Network’s membership, exploring the commonalities of island communities that can support SDG implementation, and leveraging the inherent connection of islands to the ocean to strengthen the relationship between climate action and the protection of marine environments. Further points highlighted were the collaborative development of indicators for islands and monitoring instruments to support data-driven decision making, and financing for SDGs.
Participants agreed to take action on the SDGs through the Local2030 Islands Network based upon peer-to-peer learning and knowledge, tools, and skill sharing, along with technical assistance provided by the US federal agencies and other partners. Launched in 2019, the United States and Ireland pledged support for the Network to further outreach efforts and opportunities to scale climate and sustainable development initiatives.