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Welcome to Global Island Database

The Global Island Database supports the Global Island Partnership by making spatial data available for more than 400,000 islands around the world. The platform also encourages the participation of individuals to help improve on the accuracy of this information through the Global Island Database Validation Tool.

The Global Island Database Validation Tool provides an innovative online editing and validation platform that allows registered users to contribute their expertise and local knowledge to the global island community. By contributing, your input will help to improve our understanding of the spatial extent and interactions between islands, their unique flora and fauna and the challenges they face from threats including climate change and invasive species. This tool forms part of our work under the Better Data, Better Decisions Initiative.

Before using the Global Island Database Validation Tool, we recommend you first learn about how it works through the online How To video, found here.

Background

Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Islands are oases of natural beauty with unique wildlife and varied land- and seascapes, and around the world they are steeped in rich culture and traditions. The Earth is home to more than 130,000 islands which host more than 500 million people. Islands maintain many of the world’s most unique and vulnerable plants, animals and ecosystems, while also playing an important role in the health, welfare and cultural diversity of the people living there.

Island nations and communities struggle with a variety of challenges, which are not unique, but many of which are exacerbated by the particular conditions found on islands. Impacts may be felt more quickly and to a higher degree than on the mainland, and for many islands these challenges are made more difficult by isolation and limited human resources.

At the 2007 workshop of the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA), attended by a range of stakeholders, NGOs, governments and UN bodies, one of the identified priorities was the need for improved exchange of information and collaboration between islands, and between islands and other international entities. Workshop participants agreed that this could be accomplished through a Global Island Database, and saw this as an opportunity to not only monitor islands, but as a tool for islands to assist in meeting reporting requirements of the various multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), and commitments made in international fora (e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Programme of Work on Island Biodiversity, UNEP Governing Council decisions, UNESCO World Heritage Sites).

UNEP-WCMC, was requested by GLISPA and its partners to support this work through development of a central island database and online island validating tool which help to inform and advance our understanding of global islands.