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Friday, 12 August 2016 11:33

New Partnerships Shield Vulnerable Small Island States Featured

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United Nations Headquarters
was bustling with activity on Monday,
full beyond capacity as island dwellers
from around the world gathered for
the Multi-Stakeholder Partnership in
the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable
Development Goals, to chart
the progress of Small Island Developing
States (SIDS).
In December 2015, the General
Assembly adopted a resolution establishing
the Small Island
Developing States (SIDS) Partnership
Framework in line with the priorities
of island nations.
The SIDS Partnership Framework
empowered the UN Secretariat
to organize an annual, action-oriented,
results-focused Global Multi-stakeholder
SIDS Partnership Dialogue.
This third annual event provided
an opportunity for the reviewing
the progress made by existing partnerships,
sharing of best practices, lessons
learned, and challenges faced in
Permanent Representative of Maldives
to the UN and Ambassador of Maldives
to the United States Ahmed Sareer
(Photo by IISD)
Sebastiano Cardi, Ambassador
of Italy co-chaired the Steering Committee
on Partnerships for SIDS with
Permanent Representative of Maldives
to the UN and Ambassador of Maldives
to the United States Ahmed Sareer.
They and the delegates took
stock of the two-year journey since
the multi-stakeholder partnerships
began. Much progress has been made
with more than 300 partnerships now
An online reporting template,
the SIDS Action Platform, has helped
track specific measurable results of
the partnerships.
The SIDS partnerships started
with a focus on the Pacific Region,
and the program is now expanding to
other islands around the world.
In an attempt to control the
vast quantities of plastic litter, discarded
fishing nets and other waste,
the Global Partnership on Marine Litter
mechanism was born in 2012 at the
UN’s environmental Rio+20 summit.
A beach surrounded by pristine Pacific
waters in Western Samoa Dec. 2011
(Photo by Dave Lonsdale)
This partnership’s core goals
are reducing the levels and impacts of
land-based litter and solid waste in the
aquatic environment and, at the same
time, reducing levels and impact of
sea-based sources of marine debris –
solid waste, lost cargo, abandoned,
lost or discarded fishing gear, and
abandoned vessels.
The Samoan Islands archipelago
in the central South Pacific has
two governments separated by 64 km
of ocean – the independent country of
Samoa in the western half of the island
chain, and the territory of American
Samoa covering the islands to the east
New ways of cleaning up rubbish
and marine debris are being introduced
on many of the islands, as is
separating garbage for recycling.
Samoa now has an active waste-separation
program, and Samoan residents
have started distributing rubbish bins
to hotels with multi-stakeholder partners.
A locally produced film clip
from Samoa shown at the conference
illustrated some approaches to reducing
levels and impacts of accumulated
marine debris on shorelines, aquatic
habitats, and biodiversity.
These West Indian manatees,
Trichechus manatus, belong to a
species listed as Endangered by the
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Photo
One of the challenges the
multi-stakeholder partnerships have
had to overcome is the building of
trust between public and private sectors,
and with civil society.
Climate change, sustainable
energy and ocean preservation have
taken priority, but other areas of partnership
development also are needed,
especially around alternative transportation
and endangered species.
The World Bank has invested
in The Partnership Meeting the climate
challenge: Briefing on the Small
Island State Resilience Initiative
(SISRI) with US$800 million a year
for SIDS.
Knowledge is connected in
the three pillars: institutional, operational,
technical-early warning detection
of natural disasters.
Dedicated World Bank Team
SIDS specialists shared knowledge
from many organizations on the resilience
of coral reefs, and for risk assessment
with road maps in flood zones.
The collaborations are valuable
as a common theme of the partnerships
was the synergy of teams,
and the goal of transparency about results
and process through partnerships.
The Samoa–Samoa Pathway
has 69 partnerships, of which 17 have
implemented solutions, explained Peseta
Noumea Simi, CEO of the Governments
of Samoa’s Ministry of
Foreign Trade.
“The challenges are to address
ocean acidity and use a common
framework, improvement and establish
endurable partnership, there are
trust and accountability as well as
equal,” she explained.
A joint partnership with Italy
and Japan set up a Pacific Regional
Center for Climate Change. This looks
to be a win/win for all involved in the
multi-level partnership, Capacity
building and the gathering of greater
resources to cope with climate change
than those available to island states
alone are the goals.
At Monday’s meeting, the International
Civil Aviation Organization’s
air transportation partnership
with Small Island States was praised
as helpful as it, “promotes understanding
and security through cooperative
aviation regulation.”
For the small island states the
ICAO joint partnership is a lifeline to
ecological and social development, as
the airlines can offer help in crisis,
support for public health, protection
for ecosystems and climate change.
Tourism is the most important
industry for the fragile and beautiful
small island states. Yet for all the billions
of dollars spent each year on
travel to and tourism in island countries,
many islands still lack sustainable
transportation, and quality
aviation infrastructure. More framework
coding, policy, safety, and regulations
are needed along with adequate
funding for aviation, the partners
The Small Island Developing
States are communities that live close
to nature, with lives centered
Although they have what is left of a
natural paradise, these islands now are
confronted with many threats – rising
sea levels, and increasing catastrophic
disasters, multiplying due to humancaused
climate change from the industrialized
developed countries.
Climate refugee numbers are
increasing daily, and people are losing
their land and homes due to climate
change, and related severe storms.
These partnerships for SIDS
with the 17 Sustainable Development
goals are potential life savers, not just
for humans, but also for the ocean and
ocean species.
Small Island States offer one
of the last frontiers where people can
discover a better balance with nature,
participants agreed. Partnerships are
key, to unite more than nations, to
reach people, and engender respect for
the planet.
© Environment News Service (ENS)
2016. All rights reserved.
New Partnerships Shield Vulnerable Small Island States
Page 18 The Sun Bay Paper July 28, 2016 - August 10, 2016
Environmental News
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Permanent Representative of
Maldives to the UN and Ambassador
of Maldives to the United States
Ahmed Sareer (Photo by IISD)

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