Climate change adaptation for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is a matter of survival. SIDS collectively contribute less than 1 percent towards global greenhouse gas emissions, yet their communities are some of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The Blue Guardians partnership for SIDS is one of the last best hopes to save the oceans and islands from the stresses brought about by climate change.
Blue Guardians is a smart partnership between SIDS governments, private sector, civil society and intergovernmental bodies designed to make the best possible use of scientific, technical and human resources to contribute to the climate change priorities of island nations. It responds to the UN Oceans Conference call for Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, as well as the need to Increas[e] the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience as stated in the UNFCCC Paris Agreement.
The Blue Guardians Program will work with SIDS across three inter-related activity areas to directly increase climate resilience and contribute to their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs):
1. Nature-based Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Projects
2. Information and Data Infrastructure for Building Climate Resilience and Addressing NDCs
3. SIDS Regional Community of Exchange
The Blue Guardians program will be implemented through both regionally targeted activities for SIDS across the Pacific, Caribbean and Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean (AIMS) regions, as well as through national activities piloted in six countries. It will focus on both capacity enhancement and on-the-ground actions through six National Climate Resilience Centers in these countries.
The Blue Guardians Program is designed to build on and complement existing or planned climate adaptation and mitigation programs within each SIDS country and regionally with SIDS DOCK and partner organizations. In its planning, implementation, and execution the program will incorporate a gender sensitive approach, as well as an ecosystems approach in all its activities. The program will also leverage existing efforts by regional and national mapping and statistical organizations to provide accurate, timely, authoritative information to support decision and policy-making. Supported work for each of the six SIDS countries will be designed as a replicable model that can be adapted for other SIDS throughout the Caribbean, Pacific and AIMS ocean regions.