At the Centre of Excellence (COE) for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, we take knowledge flows very seriously. As islands face the tough challenges of climate change, often with limited resources, we need to tap into the 'wisdom of crowds'. We need to share proven solutions and lessons learned. Which is why we are excited that our online community of SIDS policymakers in sustainable development is growing steadily. Help us grow further, make even more knowledge flow, by sharing this newsletter with colleagues, and reach out to us with good examples of sustainable development in your country.

In the spirit of bridging islands of knowledge, here are some items that we'd like to note:

  • At our side event at the Ocean Conference ("Islands of Inspiration", read summary here) the NDC-Partnership presented their new Funding Navigatora searchable database of financial and technical support.
  • Also good to know, we are busy developing a free online course "Sustainable Energy for SIDS Policymakers" and an online toolkit for "SDG Implementation in SIDS". If you'd like to contribute, please let us know.  
  • We are drafting several new practical case studies, from how to deal with invasive species like Lionfish, to how to implement a plastic bag ban in a SIDS context (Note: Aruba implemented its ban on January 1st with an estimated reduction of almost 15 million single-use plastic bags since!).
  • Lastly, please save the date for our next COE Global Live Q&A Session, this time on Sustainable Tourism with Ewald Biemans, owner of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, the world's most sustainable hotel: Thursday July 27th at 10am EST. All subscribers to this newsletter will receive an invite.
Enjoy the SIDSletter, and keep the knowledge flowing between islands!

With kind regards,

The COE Team

ps. please forward this newsletter to interested colleagues who are not on our list.  

  Let's Collaborate...
Several SIDS policymakers took the UNSSC Foundational Course on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from February to March this year. The COE asked them what they thought of the course and how it will help them in their work.

The course, developed by The UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development in partnership with The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), introduced participants to key conceptual and practical aspects of sustainable development and Agenda 2030, while covering issues of means of implementation, localization of the agenda, and review and follow-up framework.
  • Laurent-Mascar Ngoma, São Tomé et Príncipe
    "The great thing was that all strategic SIDS-related documents and initiatives such as the SAMOA pathway, the Mauritius strategy of implementation, the Barbados Plan of Action, the SIDS dock, Sustainable Energy for All were merged and interlinked in this 2030 Agenda course. Also, the major challenges and needs for SIDS in the implementation of the 17 SDGs were comprehensively presented."
  • Lavina Alexander, Saint Lucia
    "This introduction was timely for me, allowing for professional development in measures to localise the 2030 Agenda, and the encompassing Sustainable Development Goals (specifically SDG14), to the national, small island context. The linkages made with financing the SDGs, and with Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, were particularly useful, highlighting potential solutions to challenges with which we are constantly faced."

  • Norma Cherry-Fevrier, Saint Lucia
    "The topic on localising the SDGs was of particular interest since I am employed with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, a sub-regional organisation that implements the work of the OECS on behalf of its Member States, a group of small island developing states (SIDS).  Further, one of the key frameworks used was the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (S.A.M.O.A) Pathway, the development agenda approved specifically for SIDS."

Additionally, some Sustainable Development self-paced e-courses to note:
  • "The Age of Sustainable Development": gives participants an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.
  • "Transforming the World: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals"This mini-series presents and explains the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “Transforming Our World: Achieving the SDGs” is a call to action that extends beyond policy makers to civil society, business, and universities, and is led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Stay Tuned... the COE is collaborating with Hamburg University and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to develop a free online course on Sustainable Energy for SIDS Policymakers, to be delivered in the Fall of 2017.

Collaborating with Universities through
COE Internships Opportunities 

Several talented students have helped the COE as it further develops its knowledge and learning offerings. A big thank you to (from left to right) Guillermo Landa from Pennsylvania State University, major in Earth Science and Policy, Energy Business, and Finance; Jady Brown from Lewis & Clark College, major in Sociology and Anthropology; and Magali Guzman from University of Aruba, major in Organization, Governance and Management.

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication and good luck in all your future endeavors!

  Let's Connect...
Please find below some upcoming events where SIDS policymakers will connect:

Sustainable High Level Political Forum 2017 | New York | July 10-19, 2017
The High-level Political Forum, United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, provides for the full and effective participation of all States Members of the United Nations and States members of specialized agencies. Read more...

High-Level Pacific Blue Economy Conference | Solomon Islands  | August 23-24, 2017
The Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Leaders approved for PIDF to organize the 1st High-level Pacific Blue Economy Conference on 23-24 August 2017. It will bring together Governments, Civil Society, Private Sector, regional organizations, development partners and the academia and will focus on the outcomes of the Ocean Conference on SDG 14. Read more...  

International Conference on Sustainable Development | Columbia University, New York | September 18-20, 2017

Please mark your calendars for ICSD 2017 which will take place on September 18 & 19, 2017, on the Columbia University Campus in New York! The theme for this year is The World in 2050: Looking Ahead for Sustainable Development. Registration is currently open. Read more...

  Let's Collect...
A key goal of the COE is to capture good practices and lessons learned in sustainable development from SIDS from around the world and share them for the benefit of all. 

This month the COE features some highlights from the UN Ocean Conference that are particularly relevant for SIDS. 

United Nations Ocean Conference:
Our Ocean, Our Future

The "Call for Action" SDG 14

Member States of the United Nations
Unanimously agreed to a set of measures that will begin the reversal of the decline of the ocean’s health
Within this resulting "Call for Action" document for the implementation of SDG 14,
SIDS are specifically mentioned in
sections 7, 12, (f) & (g).  Read more ...
The Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue is a key component of the SIDS Partnership Framework, which in turn is a follow-up to the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS Conference) which was held in 2014 in Samoa. As part of the Ocean Conference, the event had a specific focus on ocean partnerships for SIDS, aiming to galvanize voluntary commitments for the implementation of SDG 14 among the SIDS partnership community, as a contribution to the outcome of the Ocean Conference.

See Video below and
 Read more ...
The Global Multi-stakeholder
SIDS Partnership Dialogue

Highlights from other notable SIDS side events at the Ocean Conference:

#SaveOurOcean #SIDS

SDG Implementation Corner

The COE closely follows the SDG Aruba team to capture lessons and insights on their SDG implementation journey that can benefit other SIDS
ECLAC Mission
Aruba recently hosted an ECLAC Mission (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) with the aim of conducting a baseline assessment on the capacity of the National Statistical System to produce data for the SDG indicators for Aruba.  ECLAC’s Coordinator of the Statistics and Social Development Unit in the Caribbean, Abdullahi O. Abdulkadri, Ph.D., visited Aruba to conduct this assessment with various key stakeholders in Aruba. The ECLAC Mission was a follow-up on the recent UNDP MAPS mission in Aruba, which will result in a joint reporting of UNDP and ECLAC on the Roadmap for Implementation of the  2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Aruba.
The visit took place from the 19th - 23rd of June, when Dr. Abdulkadri met with many representatives of key data producing entities of both the private and public sector on Aruba. The ECLAC Mission also included a special SDG session with NGOs on the importance of the monitoring system for the SDGs for Aruba. With all of the information gathered from the sessions, ECLAC will make an assessment of the statistical capacity of Aruba and give recommendations on capacity building.  Furthermore, ECLAC will give technical assistance to aid Aruba in the production of data for the SDG indicators. An important observation from the ECLAC mission was that the stakeholders are very supportive of the SDGs; they understand the importance of the role they play in achieving the Global Goals on Aruba.
Awareness Raising: Father’s Day Fest with the SDGs in Caya Grandi
On Aruba's main street, traditionally known as ‘Caya Grandi’, gets filled up with people from every corner of Aruba for Father's day shopping. It was therefore an excellent place to set up a booth to raise public awareness of the SDGs. Onlookers were able to take pictures/selfies with the SDG tiles and poster, fill out an online survey about their opinion on the SDGs, and some were invited to give an on-camera interview. The recorded interviews will serve as material for an upcoming SDG videos, to continue to build local awareness on the SDGs. The Father’s Day SDG survey provided diverse and unfiltered demographics compared to other surveys that have been organized in the past; which were more geared towards specific SDG conferences and workshops with the private sector, NGOs, and the governmental departments.

Surveys done with Aruban NGO’s, private sector, and governmental entities revealed that out of the three sustainability pillars (economic, environmental, social), most urgency was given to improve environmental sustainability; However, the environment was deemed the least important pillar by the public (shoppers) during  the Father’s Day shopping survey. Another insight was that 18% of the Father’s Day respondents had heard about the SDGs through the SDG Aruba’s social media platform, mostly Facebook. This percentage is notable because every boosted post on the SDG facebook page aims to achieve 20% of all Aruban facebook users, demonstrating social media’s effect for awareness raising initiatives. 
For more information, please check Facebook@SDGAruba and follow them on Twitter@SDGAruba

  Also good to know...
You may have read the "Call for Action" above.
But what can we do as individuals to
 #SaveOurOcean ?
Oceanographer Sylvia Earle offers advice on what we can do to help protect our precious marine resources...
The Ocean Conference  Sylvia Earle on why the ocean matters

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