Large Ocean States (Small Islands) Webinar - On the frontlines of the climate emergency

Submitted by Olivia Allen | published 16th Nov 2022 | last updated 27th Nov 2023
At the frontlines of the climate emergency - Large Ocean States / Small Island webinar
Tuesday, 29 November, 2022 - 06:00 (Europe/Amsterdam)

On the frontlines of the climate emergency Large Ocean States webinar

This was a public event on November 29 at 06:00 CET and 17:00 FJT


In 2023 the WAC will increase its focus on Large Ocean States (LOS) (also called Small Islands Developing States (SIDS)) to support learning at the frontlines of the climate emergency. Learning and sharing of lessons learned, needs, and opportunities, is required to accelerate adaptation and address similar water challenges among scattered islands short on capacity. WAC focuses on a bottom-up approach, where it aims to listen to the community to understand demand-driven issues and build on existing initiatives. For example, the Pacific Community has already developed a Climate Adaptation Strategy. The WAC also brings policy insights from interactions with the community and shares them (as short videos, illustration posters etc.) with global policymakers at high-level decision-making events, including UN-Water 2023. At the same time, the WAC supports collaboration to scale up and jointly overcome implementation challenges with the help of an international community. An important way that the WAC does this is through the International Panel on Deltas and Coastal Zones (IPDC). 

The International Panel on Deltas and Coastal Zones (IPDC)

IPDC is an upcoming initiative that responds to the urgent and critical need for special leadership to accelerate sustainable development and adaptation in deltas, coastal zones and LOS/Small Islands. GCA and the Water Adaptation Community is supporting this coalition-building effort, at its three levels:

  • The policy and finance layer: the Champions Group consisting of High-Level Leaders for political and financial commitment and leadership.
  • The science layer: the International Expert Panel consisting of Top-level Scientists and Adaptation Experts linking shared knowledge to local planning and implementation needs.
  • The implementation layer: the Action Holders consisting of Knowledge Networks and Implementation Agencies working with international experts to support accelerated actions on the ground.

By connecting multiple layers of policy and decision-making, financing, knowledge development and practice, the IPDC aims to leverage the power of multi-actor collaboration. The IPDC had a soft launch at theCOP 27 on the 14th of Nov. The formal launch will be held at the UN Global Water Conference in New York in 2023. Read more on the IPDC website and follow on LinkedIn IPDC deltas and coasts

Objectives of the webinar

To inform the IPDC approach going forward about key issues that LOS/Small Islands face, the WAC has designed a webinar to share knowledge and best practices for governance, policy development, and locally led resilience and adaptation to help LOS/Small Islands address their knowledge gaps and increase widespread applications of good practices. The WAC has invited LOS/Small Islands leaders, water governance practitioners, and expert researchers to talk about their key challenges and solutions.

This webinar started with a keynote giving an overview of the climate-related water issues with a focus on LOS/Small Islands. It then invites several specific cases for a deep dive into important solutions to challenges in Malta and the Pacific Region. It ends with a Q&A and discussion. The discussion aimed to scope interest and relevant topics for the coalition building of the IPDC.

Some important questions:

  • What are the key climate impacts that need support from an initiative like the IPDC and the WAC?
  • What approach should IPDC have to best tap into the existing knowledge, initiatives, and processes already ongoing in the Pacific LOS/Small Islands.
  • What are the knowledge and capacity gaps and how should they best be developed with the help of IDPC and the WAC?


  • Increased awareness of LOS/Small Islands issues and progress in climate adaptation.
  • Identified important issues to put on the IPDC agenda including the existing political processes to connect with the LOS/Small Islands.  


Welcome from the Water Adaptation Community of the GCA, introducing the chair, Dr. Nidhi Nagabhatla, Senior Research Fellow and Cluster Coordinator: Climate Change and Natural Resources program at UNU CRIS.

Presentation 1: Dr. Amit Chanan, Water Authority of Fiji  - 6th Annual Water Ministerial Meeting and the Pacific Water and Wastewater Association, bring forward messages of on-the-ground challenges and opportunities in the Pacific Islands.

Presentation 2: Dr. Nidhi Nagabhatla, Large ocean states, SGD targets, other UN development targets. Quantitative signals of water & climate emergencies in small islands.

Presentation 3: Mr. Amit Singh, Project Development Specialist, Regional Pacific NDC Hub/Pacific Community. Mainstreaming water into NDCs - solutions, gaps, and opportunities in water adaptation. 

Presentation 4: Ms. Muhsina Abdul Rahman Maldives Ministry of Environment, Maldives’ national strategy and action plan to manage interventions in the exclusive ocean economic zone 

Presentation 5: Harm Duel, Deltares, Project Manager, IPDC, Future coalition and capacity building through the International Panel for Deltas and Coastal Regions (IPDC).

Panel Discussion - Identify key issues that need further dialogue and support from coalition building across LOS, knowledge gaps, action, and policy priorities. The discussion aims to feed into the larger effort of the IPDC for scoping interests and topics for coalition building through IPDC.

Closing acknowledgments & end.