DateMay 27-30, 2024
St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda

The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) will be convened from May 27-30, 2024.  Under the overarching theme of “Charting the course toward resilient prosperity," the conference will aim at assessing the ability of SIDS to achieve sustainable development, including the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. It will result in an inter-governmentally agreed, focused, forward-looking, and action-oriented political outcome document. 

For more than 30 years to the present, the Global Environment Facility and key partners continue to support the development of green and blue economy approaches in SIDS; respond to demands for sustainable use of biodiversity, resilience to climate change and other shocks; increase energy access through renewable energy and energy efficiency; halt and reverse land degradation; enhance cooperation on international waters; and support a pollution-free environment. These investments have helped to build resilient societies, preserve and enhance landscapes and the living environment, and contribute to supporting a livable future.

To date, the GEF has provided $1.9 billion in grant finance to SIDS through national, global, and regional projects. GEF finance has also leveraged several times that amount in additional resources for sustainable development. The current GEF-8 funding cycle (2022 – 2026) continues to provide strong support and an emphasis on the needs of SIDS and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Side Event

SIDS and the GEF: Three decades of environmental leadership and innovation

Room 4, SIDS4 Conference Room

Driven by increasing environment and economic pressures and faced with unique vulnerabilities, SIDS have been drivers of innovation and have demonstrated leadership in the global environmental agenda.  The GEF will host a side event to highlight key interventions and partnerships within the SIDS community over the last 30 years and reflect on priorities for the future.

Event objectives

  • Highlight GEF investments in SIDS which have enabled countries to meet commitments under multilateral environment agreements, Sustainable Development Goals, and priorities as defined by the global SIDS agenda. This aligns well with the interactive dialogue on Revitalizing SIDS Economies for accelerated and sustainable growth.
  • Strengthen partnerships within the SIDS community and with organizations working to advance nature-positive and resilient development in SIDS.
  • Inform approaches and thinking on support for the Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS) through the upcoming GEF-9 funding cycle and beyond.
  • To launch a new SIDS and GEF publication showcasing SIDS as leaders and innovators in addressing challenges in the context of their developing blue and green economies.


Moderator: Sonja Teelucksingh, Senior Advisor, GEF

Opening Remarks:

  • Claude Gascon, Director of Strategy and Operations, GEF
  • GEF Donor Country Representative (UK)

Video Presentation and Publication Launch: Asha Bobb-Semple, Environmental Specialist and SIDS Regional Coordinator, GEF

Panel: Reflections on GEF Investments

  • Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Climate Change Adaptation, Meteorology and Geo-Hazards, Energy, Environment and Disaster Management, Vanuatu
  • Louise Baker, Managing Director Global Mechanism, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
  • Karen McDonald Gayle, Chief Executive Officer, Caribbean Biodiversity Fund
  • George Gray, Head of the Inclusive Growth Hub and Chief Economic Advisor, UNDP
  • Jennifer Doherty-Bigara, Senior Climate Change Specialist, IDB


Reflections for the Future: Ashley Lashley, SIDS Youth Activist and Executive Director, Ashley Lashley Foundation

Closing Remarks and Outlook for the 9th GEF Replenishment: Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson, GEF