Island Communications Toolkit on Climate Change and Biodiversity

GLISPA, the CBD and PCI-Media Impact have partnered to launch an Islands Communications Toolkit designed to assist island nations share best practices for communicating climate change and biodiversity conservation. From CEC member Sean Southey.

The toolkit builds on work begun in community workshops in the Caribbean in 2010.

On December 6, 2010, 12 participants representing 10 countries met in the margins of the UNFCCC COP-16 in Cancun, Mexico to share experiences, inputs and partnerships for the production of an islands communication toolkit.

The toolkit, to be produced in 2011, will be a living project that includes an online component where stakeholders will contribute resources and discuss the best ways to communicate and educate audiences on climate change and biodiversity conservation. This component will later be followed by print products and capacity development opportunities.

The discussions, led by CEC members Sean Southey, Executive Director PCI-Media Impact, and David Ainsworth, Information Officer, Convention on Biological Diversity, brought together representatives of various island nations and sectors to begin the theoretical discussions that will eventually create the framework for the online and print manual.

Under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the relationship between climate change and biodiversity is a key cross-cutting issue that is of particular relevance for island ecosystems. This is why the Secretariat has partnered with The Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) and Media Impact to produce a Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) toolkit on climate change and biodiversity devoted to the needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The project has financial support from the government of the Netherlands, and will be done in partnership with GLISPA, the Commission on Education and Communication of IUCN and others.

Discussions at the initial workshop centred on education for sustainable development (ESD) and its importance to learning that is based in, and relevant to, challenges particular to islands. Whether the question is about the ways to reduce the impacts of climate change on island biodiversity, or to find ways to adapt to a changing climate, communities need resources that promote knowledge-sharing and peer-to-peer learning they can use to develop their own communications capacity to prepare themselves for the future.

If you would like to participate in the creation of this toolkit and/or contribute examples of island communications for inclusion, please contact Jessica Robbins ( or Sean Southey (

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