Island Resilience Initiative

The Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) and Precovery Lab conducted consultative meetings in three Pacific island countries to establish the Island Resilience Initiative (IRI) in those three countries in that initial phase of the IRI. These were Palau, Marshall Islands and Fiji. Read more about these consultations here.


With the leadership of Palau, Marshall Islands and Fiji, the Island Resilience Initiative is building capacity for nationally-led public-private civic partnerships to drive implementation of the SDGs and other global agreements locally. The framework leverages proven island-led models to:

IRI 1.0

  • Identify, support and strengthen local collaborative public-private civic partnerships focused on system-level change;
  • Initiate the framework to implement SDGs locally, which includes a longer-term process to set high-level goals, develop shared measures to be tracked on an online platform, and develop a project pipeline to achieve 2030 goals.

IRI 2.0

  • Launch a project pipeline development process, the Island Resilience Solution Prize, to catalyze innovative investments in integrated infrastructure in islands that can be financed through sources such as the Green Climate Fund and be a catalyst for public-private civic partnerships;
  • Launch a peer-learning network coordinated by the Global Island Partnership and Hawai‘i Green Growth to support high-level goal development, commitments as well as coordination of the public-private civic partnerships

IRI 1.0 Bright Spots

Successful national stakeholder consultations were held in each country in early 2018 each convening a broad range of stakeholder groups from Government, CSOs and the private sector. The consultations resulted in:

  • Engaged the diverse range of stakeholders into creating an action plan to mobilize implementation of the SDGs;
  • Developed a framework for coordination and collaboration from national to global levels to share lessons and work toward long-term goals. The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) coordinated with the national focal points. The Global Island Partnership and Hawaii Green Growth help to interconnect the national efforts with their experiences in other islands and resilience champions globally;
  • Prioritization of the SDGs based on national priorities and around the SDG pillars (energy, food, water, equity, environment, and community). This helped the countries align existing commitments to help focus their efforts and resources as well as mobilize greater interest in implementation;
  • Established an approach to launch online dashboards to measure progress toward the goals and demonstrate the important contribution of islands globally to the SDGs.

The Island Resilience Initiative is supported at the highest political levels in each of the three countries and viewed as an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, SDGs, Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework and the emerging New Urban Agenda as well as the regionally developed Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP). The Initiative will reinforce ambitious but appropriate and “right-sized” projects and solutions on islands that can be scaled and financed globally. It will also provide a platform for the establishment of larger, innovative impact dashboards and national and regional interventions.

Read more in this brief in either A4 version or A3 version (for A3 printing).


For further information contact Mark Borg at or Vili Kasanawaqa at

The Six Resilience Pillars

COMMUNITY RESILIENCE – The Community pillar reflects the formal, informal, organized and unorganized “communities” – institutions, organizations, municipalities, neighborhoods, city, villages, individual islands, etc. It may also, from a target or solution standpoint, be those individuals and groups that are bound together by industry, common cause, theme, or activities related to the social, cultural, communal benefit or improvement focus. This pillar could therefore include a SDG related to cities and urban areas as primary or it could open the door to a specific group of cultural or gender groupings inside or outside of a larger goal.

ENERGY – The Energy pillar is first and foremost about access for islands to affordable, safe and clean energy and helping to drive that kind of investment as it is so crucial to the survival and prosperity in more distant locations. And given this key element in the energy-food-water nexus, the importance on islands is heightened. It also has great bearing on CO2 release, food production, localized pollution, transportation and storage of fossil fuels, economic viability, post disaster continuity and more. Many of these factors surrounding energy have a direct bearing or influence on climate change, for instance.

ENVIRONMENT – The Environment pillar encompasses the complete natural world in the island context, as well as the potential human aspects and influences that are inextricably linked, even from great distances. It is also heavily influenced by and influences across the energy-food-water nexus, and without a healthy environment economics suffer – from sustainable tourism to the fisheries industry. In the island context, the human populations, be they large or small, are more directly connected, such that eco-DRR efforts can be holistically engaged for the built environment.

EQUITY -The Equity pillar goes deeper in the context of the IRI, as we consider more than just equality, but the true equity in that island location – from gender to jobs, from health and education provision to social, cultural and safety. One can imagine a deep overlap between the community pillar and the equity pillar in many of the framework targets as well as with various citizen groups and targets.

FOOD – The Food pillar involves all aspects of food systems, food and its availability, health and quality – from access for all people to the purity of sources, harvest and the environment around them, as well as the effects that such food systems have on climate change. Food systems and nutrition are key aspects of community wellness building and resilience. Holistic island resilience will view food as ridge to reef, engaging both water and terrestrial sources. This may be a key innovation area for island solutions.

WATER – The Water pillar, like the food pillar, encompasses the broader water systems within the island context and the ability for all people to access clean water and sanitation, and within the broader ecosystem reinforce that access to promote and maintain food, economic systems by doing no harm to the environment. Here too there will be growing opportunities for technology and innovation to build more resilient islands.