IUCN highlights islands’ challenges at the European Parliament
10 June 2013 | Article
Speaking at an event in the European Parliament, both IUCN and the Global Island Partnership have highlighted the key sustainable development challenges faced by Europe’s overseas entities as well the potential of islands across the globe to help achieve both EU and international environmental targets.
Hosted by the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development and co-chaired by MEP Maurice Ponga and H.E. Ronny Jumeau, participants at the over-subscribed event heard from MEPs Younous Omarjee, and PatriceTirolien, and representatives of the EU overseas, such as OCTA. Representatives from the European Commission’s DG Environment, DG DEVCO, the OCT Taskforce and DG REGIO also spoke on current activities with the EU overseas.
Key note speaker H.E Ronny Jumeau – Chair of the Global Island Partnership Steering Committee and ambassador of the Seychelles to the UN – highlighted the importance of islands across the globe and how they were as much centres of eco-innovation as states requiring much needed support to deal with numerous anthropogenic pressures on their marine and coastal environments.
Carl Gustaf Lundin, head of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme, spoke in detail about coastal marine ecosystems and their important role in protecting islands and securing sustainable livelihoods for people living on islands.
“Many islands depend on the status of the oceans and their ecosystems,” said Mr. Lundin. “There is thus every reason to treat our coastal ecosystems well and the work of many small island states is to be commended in that respect,” he added.
IUCN’s Project Coordinator for the Europe Overseas Programme, Carole Martinez, also took the opportunity to highlight the need for stronger recognition of EU overseas challenges in EU policies and the necessity for a targeted funding mechanism(s) to support overseas islands.
The call for improved support for Europe overseas comes just as the European Commission has launched its third and final call for tender concerning measures towards sustaining the BEST preparatory action. For more information on this call for tender: Click here
To read the full report of the meeting follow the link on the right hand side of this page.