25 May 2022
The Island Finance Forum 2022, hosted virtually by Island Innovation, took place between 25 and 29 April 2022. St Helena was invited, along with many other islands, to participate and discuss the challenges that islands face. Topics included risk and insurance, climate finance, renewable energy finance, blue economies, crypto-currency and start-up ecosystems.
St Helena’s Chief Minister, Julie Thomas, was a panelist in the session ‘Leave No One Behind: Building an Equitable and Inclusive Recovery for Island Communities’. In this session, the discussion focused on plans to address social and economic inequalities in the post-pandemic era.
The Chief Minister was also the keynote speaker in the session ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green: Islands and Financing the Green Energy Transition’. In her keynote she spoke about what St Helena has already accomplished, including St Helena’s Climate Change Policy, the St Helena Cloud Forest Project, and revolutionising sustainable planning and land use through improvement and expansion of Geographic Information System (GIS) usage via the SAERI-funded MOVE-ON project.
St Helena was also represented by Head of Tourism, Matthew Joshua, who spoke as a panellist in the session ‘Facing a Formidable Future: Pandemic Recovery Strategies to Spur Economic Growth’. This session concentrated on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the strategies implemented to recover from pandemic-related hardships.
The Island Finance Forum 2022 was live-streamed to a global audience, and viewers could interact with the sessions by asking questions and making comments. The Chief Minister and Head of Tourism answered questions during their sessions.
The Chief Minister and Head of Tourism participated in their sessions virtually from the Tourist Office (two sessions) and the Council Chambers (one session), with the public invited to attend; and a live broadcast of Forum sessions was facilitated via the local promo channel. This was enabled by SHG’s Sustainable Development and IT teams, and Sure South Atlantic Ltd.
Positive feedback was received during the sessions and after the Forum. This included viewers expressing interest in visiting the Island and positive remarks about achievements and ongoing work to improve the Island’s sustainability.
The Forum was a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on St Helena’s achievements and gain an insight into how other island nations are managing the unique challenges they face.
St Helena Government looks forward to collaborating with Island Innovation in the future. The next event, ‘Virtual Island Summit’, will take place between 26 September and 2 October 2022.
What is Island Innovation?
Island Innovation is a social enterprise that, through digital communication and events, works with private sector companies, governments, universities, NGOs and utilities to connect them with island stakeholders that are vital to the success of their sustainability projects.
The global Island Innovation network strives to advance innovation for sustainability and prosperity in islands worldwide, and to drive sustainable change across island and rural communities by sharing innovative projects and best practice.
Island Innovation’s ‘Island Finance Forum 2022’ brought together senior financiers, development partners and regulators to share and exchange experiences on sustainable and inclusive financial structures in island communities, aiming to highlight the unique financial challenges facing island communities and solutions for sustainable economic recovery and inclusive growth in a post-pandemic world. The free, virtual event was accessible to attendees from around the world in a variety of interactive sessions, including one-to-one and small-group networking opportunities. In total, more than 250 islands and more than 6,800 people participated in the Forum.
For more information, please visit https://islandinnovation.co/.
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25 May 2022