A cooperation program to support small islands towards sustainable management

CARTO 2020 5

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In the past few months, we've been working on a mapping of island networks and organisations that focus on environmental or island heritage protection. This initiative aims to identify island networks and organisations that work at least on more than one island at a national level. We will now conduct a series of online meetings to start answering the need to know who does what and where, in order to identify geographical or thematical gaps of such organisms, to encourage new partnerships, ultimately offering better answers to islands’ needs.

This first session, in English, focused on Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, and took place on Thursday November 19, 2020 at 2 pm UTC. The recording is available on SMILO Youtube channel.

This event was organised in partnership with the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), sponsored by the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and supported by the Conservatoire du littoralGreen Cross France et TerritoiresIsland ConservationInitiative PIM pour les Petites Iles de Méditerranée, and Precovery Labs. It took place under the umbrella of ICO solutions.

Discover the 7 speakers of this session:


Godfrey Baldacchino is Professor of sociology at the University of Malta (Malta), founding editor of Island Studies Journal; and President of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA).



Erica Clarkson is Head of Rural and Islands Policy and Communities for the Scottish Government. Erica is responsible for the implementation of the 2018 Islands Act and oversees the implementation of the National Islands Plan. In 2019, Erica oversaw an extensive consultation exercise to inform the development of the "National Islands Plan" which was published last December and has spoken at numerous seminars and conferences on Scottish Islands policy development. Prior to this, Erica was the Chief Executive of the Judicial Appointments Council for Scotland, and was previously the Director of Children's Education and Play for the Scottish Government. Erica is herself originally from the islands and lives and works in Orkney.


Federico Alfonso Méndez Sánchez is the General Director of the NGO Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas (GECI). Federico is an oceanologist from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (2005), where he also studied a Specialty in Environmental Management (2007) with a focus on natural resource management. He completed his Master of Science in Environmental Management at the University of Auckland in New Zealand (2011-2013). He is currently pursuing a PhD in Sciences in the Use, Management and Preservation of Natural Resources at the Northwest Biological Research Center, S. C. (CIBNOR). He is part of the Grupo de Ecología y Conservación de Islas, A. C., (GECI) since August 2007, where he has worked as a Field Biologist, Coordinator, and Project Director. He actively participated in the creation and management of the Pacific Islands Biosphere Reserve on the Baja California Peninsula and the Revillagigedo National Park, including the inclusion of the latter on the World Heritage List in 2016. 


Yabanex Batista is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF). He oversees operations and development of new initiatives at the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund. With over 20 years of experience, he has focused his career on international financing institutions and sustainable financing for conservation and development, government relations and policy, and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). He has extensive experience on environmental negotiations, the establishment of conservation trust funds and other financial mechanisms, fundraising and resources mobilization, and climate change adaptation and mitigation in Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa.
Prior to joining the CBF, he worked for GITEC/GIZ (German Government Technical Cooperation Agency) in Mexico, The Nature Conservancy’s International Government Relations Department and Europe Office, the World Bank-GEF Unit, the United States Geological Survey, and IPAM (Amazon Environmental Research Institute) in Brazil. He holds an MA in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University.


Born near Tambacounda, Marie-Suzanna Traoré grew up in rural Senegal. Her parents and grandparents were farmers, and survival meant respecting Mother Earth – an experience that shaped her life. After studying biology and environmental science at Dakar University, Marie Suzanna fought for more sustainable agriculture and safer chemicals with Africare and Pesticide Action Network. But with change not coming fast enough, she became an oceans campaigner with Greenpeace. Since 2016 she is the Secretary General of West Africa’s Marine Protected Areas Network (RAMPAO).


Joseph (Joe) Appiott is the Coordinator for marine, coastal and island biodiversity at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat. In this capacity, he coordinates work under the CBD to facilitate the implementation of the programmes of work on island biodiversity and on marine and coastal biodiversity. Joe joined the CBD Secretariat in 2013, with previous work and academic research (M.S. and PhD) focused on international relations and ocean policy.




Gregg Howald works as Director, Global Conservation Initiatives with Advanced Conservation Strategies (ACS). He is an expert in the field of insular ecosystems and island restoration, with 25 years of experience, including the eradication of invasive species from more than 75 islands in 8 countries. Until August 2020, Gregg served as Island Conservation’s Director of Global and External Affairs. With a diverse technical background, grounded in ecotoxicology, he has evolved into conservation diplomacy and is a key member of highly controversial projects and public engagement processes where he supports communication of risks and benefits of projects to inform values‐based decisions including regulatory compliance processes, the media, rightsholders, and the public. Gregg is currently working in networks of ultilateral/transboundary public-private partnerships with industry, government, scientists, and NGOs working together under national and international policy frameworks that are focused on island restoration programs, and now with the international NGO FreshWater Life, with a goal to increase the scale, scope, and pace of the eradication of invasive species from insular ecosystems to benefit people and biodiversity. 

Constance CORBIER

Agricultural engineer, Constance Corbier-Barthaux first worked for various development aid organisations, including the Food and Agricutlure Organisation (FAO), and then as a representative for International Affairs at the French Ministry of the Environment. She joined the French Development Agency (AFD) in 2000 and participated, as a project officer, in the development of the portfolio of development projects based on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and then, as an evaluator in charge of this theme, in the evaluations and capitalization of the AFD's environmental projects. Late 2014, she joined the Secretariat of the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) as Project Officer in charge of conservation and sustainable use of marine and terrestrial biodiversity projects and capacity-building initiatives for civil society organizations "of the South" working on the environment and sustainable development, commonly known as the "Small-scales Initiatives" Program (PPI). Constance Corbier-Barthaux is in charge of monitoring SMILO's project supported by the FFEM.


This event was sponsored by:

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