In the past 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 have started conducting 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.

WIN Conference Session2PacificVF

After a first session focused on Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, this second session focused on Asia and the Pacific.

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 littoral, Green Cross France et Territoires, Island Conservation, Initiative PIM pour les Petites Iles de Méditerranée, and Precovery Labs. It took place under the umbrella of ICO solutions.


Discover the 9 panelists of this session:


Amanda Wheatley is the Biodiversity Adviser at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Amanda is Australian, but have lived in Samoa for the past seven years working for SPREP as the Biodiversity Adviser. Her work focusses on supporting the Pacific Island country and territories to meet their national, regional and global commitments related to biodiversity and nature conservation including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  The past few years have focussed on leading preparations for the 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, and associated products including the new Pacific Islands Framework for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas which will guide activities within the region beyond 2020.


Geraldine Datuin is Micronesia Challenge Regional Coordinator. She has experience with working in the Executive Branch government of Guam as a policy analyst, the Guam Department of Agriculture as a Forestry Aide and Agricultural Management Technician, and most recently was a recipient of the prestigious U.S.-U.K. 2017-2018 Fulbright Award, equivalent to the amount $50,000 towards a Master of Science Program in Conservation and Biodiversity, funded by the U.S. Department of Education. She has international experience, working with communities and doing fieldwork based in Bali, Guam, England, Africa, the Philippines.


Dr Victoria Kreener is a Research Fellow East-West Center, the Lead Principal Investigator of the NOAA Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences & Assessments program. She also is the Lead Author of the Hawaii and US-Affiliated Pacific Islands chapter of the 4th US National Climate Assessment. Dr. Keener also serves as one of five members of the City and County of Honolulu Climate Commission. She earned a PhD in Agricultural & Biological Engineering from the University of Florida, and specializes in interdisciplinary hydrology and applied climatological research. 


Willy Kotska is the Executive Director of the Micronesia Conservation Trust. He is co-founder of and over twenty years in senior executive positions with both the Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) and the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT). Extensive experience in non-profit management, conservation financing and endowments, organizational capacity development and mentoring, fund raising, conservation, strategic planning, community empowerment, and government relations. Recipient of the Pew Marine Fellowship, the world’s most prestigious marine conservation fellowship.


Gregg Howald is Director of Global Conservation Initiatives Advanced Conservation Strategies (ACS). Gregg 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 iNGO 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.  


Yoko Watanabe is Global Manager of the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) at UN Development Programme (UNDP)She has over 25 years of professional experience working on biodiversity, natural resources management, and international development.  She directs the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) at UN Development Programme (UNDP) as its Global Manager.  Prior to joining the SGP, Yoko worked at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and held various key positions, including Heads of Asia Program and Gender/Social Inclusion Team.  She also served as Program Manager on biodiversity, and passionate about saving endangered species and places with local communities. Yoko also worked at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), as its Conservation Director at the Mongolia Country Office and later as a Senior Advisor on Multilateral Relations at the US Office.  She started her development and environment career in 1995 at the Japan International Cooperation Agency and later at UNDP as Environment Program Officer at Nepal and Mongolia Offices.  

Yoko is a Japanese citizen and holds a master's degree in International Development with a focus on Environment and Natural Resources Management.   For her undergraduate, she studied Environmental Studies and Development Economics in Tokyo. 


Jason Donofrio is External Relations Officer at The Ocean Foundation. As the External Relations Officer at The Ocean Foundation, Jason handles community and corporate partnerships, as well as donor and media relations. Through his work with both funders and community members, Jason works to help execute the organization’s programmatic initiatives aimed at helping communities become more resilient to the growing effects of climate change, and wherever possible - to lead the way on taking action to reduce our global footprint. Prior to his role at The Ocean Foundation, Jason worked to help save the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in his hometown in Arizona, launching a Development department that achieved a multimillion dollar campaign to ensure the School could meet its operating needs and continue its historic 89 year-old existence.  That school, along with a combination of other Frank Lloyd Wright sites based on sustainable development, was just recently named as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Jason has spent the past decade working to build capacity for environmental and social nonprofit organizations in Arizona, Colorado, Vermont, Maryland and Washington D.C., and holds a Bachelors in Cultural Anthropology from Arizona State University. 


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.


Celeste Connors is the Executive Director of the Hawai'i Green Growth Local2030 Hub. She has twenty years of experience working at the intersection of economic, environment, energy, and international development policy. Before joining Hawai‘i Green Growth, she was CEO and co-founder of cdots development LLC, which works to build resilient infrastructure systems and services in vulnerable communities. Celeste previously served as the Director for Environment and Climate Change at the National Security Council and National Economic Council in the White House where she helped shape the Administration’s climate and energy policies, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Prior to joining the White House, Celeste served as a diplomat in Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Germany. She also held positions at the U.S. Mission to the UN, served as the Climate and Energy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and worked for City of New York.

Celeste is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center and was a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in the Energy, Resources and Environment Program. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA in International Relations from Tufts University. Celeste has served on numerous boards including her current service on Hawaiian Electric Industries, the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience at the University of Hawaii and Icebreaker One. She previously served on the Board of America’s Service Commissions, the IUCN World Conservation Congress National Host Committee, and was a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations.


This event was sponsored by: 

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