SIDS Ecosystem Restoration Flagship:Vanuatu, Comores and Santa Lucia

SIDS Ecosystem Restoration Flagship:Vanuatu, Comores and Santa Lucia




Flagship initiatives are the first, best or most promising examples of successful ecosystem restoration that a country or region would like to be globally known for. The main role of Flagships is to provide inspiration to other countries and regions for scaling up successful restoration efforts, and to attract global attention and investments. Selected Flagships will act as a basis for joint learning across the world. Up to 10 Flagships selected in the first round will be launched in 2022, likely in conjunction with the UN General Assembly in September. All official Flagships of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration will feature prominently in the UN Decade's publications, campaigns, outreach, advocacy and education efforts going forward, and will be listed in the UN Secretary-General's Report to the General Assembly (UNGA) at its 81st session.

  1. Brief description of project, key activities and outputs, how will it be implemented?]

The SIDS Ecosystem Restoration Flagship (SIDS Flagship) concept note was submitted to and approved by the UN Decade Executive Board on December 17th 2021. In a nutshell, this Flagship will put marine and coastal ecosystems at the heart of economic policy and decision-making in the era of COVID 19. This SIDS-led initiative will also put a face to marine and coastal ecosystem restoration with SIDS leading by example and inspiring pride.

Despite SIDS unique structural and endogenous development challenges, currently exacerbated by the pandemic, COVID-19 economic recovery represents a unique opportunity for SIDS to unlock their blue economy potential and reduce nature-based economic and financial risks. Well informed and coordinated ecosystem restoration and conservation, following the principles of both Sustainable Blue Economy Finance and of Ecosystem Restoration, will transform SIDS’ unique ocean-based challenges into opportunities in order to accelerate the implementation of SDG 14 and other ocean-related SDGs.

Under these perspectives, the SIDS Flagship aims to promote the integration of marine and coastal ecosystem restoration/conservation and sustainable blue finance into COVID-19 economic recovery and growth in 3 SIDS through a connected ‘ridge to reef’ & seascape management approach in order to build back better and bluer. The Flagship will be covering the 3 SIDS regions by targeting Vanuatu (in the Pacific), St Lucia (in the Caribbean) and Comoros (in the AIS region).


Essentially, the SIDS Flagship is divided into 3 components. The first two components will support country-level targeted scalable marine and coastal ecosystem restoration/conservation interventions aiming to bridge recurrent and existing restoration/conservation project gaps which are often undermining replication and proper upscaling of current restoration/conservation efforts. While focusing on specific sites, such as Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) in the 3 targeted SIDS, the SIDS Flagship will operate as a toolbox supporting ongoing restoration projects’ sites in (i) connecting ecosystem restoration to economic recovery and sustainable growth, (ii) ensuring ridge to reef and multi-sectoral approaches, (iii) applying decision-support tools to decide where and how to invest in restoration to best deliver environmentally sound and sustainable blue economic opportunities, and (iv) linking local level efforts to national level structural changes. This will be done through the development of innovative partnerships with Governments, private sector, local communities.


  • In the case of Saint Lucia, the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area which cover 1 designated Ramsar site as well as mangroves, wetlands and coral reefs systems, will be the Flagship target site, which is already being supported by the South East Coast of Saint Lucia Project.
  • Regarding Comoros, the Flagship will specifically target 4 marine protected areas (Moheli National Park, Coelacanth National Park, Mitsamiouli Ndroudé National Park and Shisiwani National Park) which are supported by the GEF Western Indian Ocean Strategy Action Plan Programme (WIOSAP) through co-management schemes with local communities.
  • For Vanuatu, the Flagship will specifically target the Maskelyne islands, North Efate, Mystery island and Tongoa which have received initial support from the EU funded “By-catch and Integrated Ecosystem Management Initiative (BIEM)” project and the GEF funded project “R2R: Integrated Sustainable Land and Coastal Management”.

The third component will promote policy dialogue, advocacy, sharing of inspiring success stories, peer learning as well as SIDS-SIDS cooperation within and between the 3 SIDS regions. This third component is built on SIDS’s demonstrated global leadership and political will for a sustainable ocean and blue economy transition which will greatly contribute to the global movement the UN Decade is encouraging


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