December 2018 I SIDSletter #22

"1.5 to Stay Alive" 

The SIDSletter is a monthly publication of the UNDP's Aruba Centre of Excellence (COE) for the Sustainable Development of SIDS. The COE aims to collect, connect and collaborate with stakeholders from SIDS from around the world to catalyze innovation, resilience and sustainable development.
COP24 is taking place this week in Katowice Poland. Discussions are taking place on the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, to which countries in the world agreed to keep global temperatures rise well below 2 degrees Celsius, while low-lying island states and others have lobbied for substantially more. The campaign 1.5 to Stay Alive is alive and more relevant than ever.
According to a comprehensive assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C released in October 2018, and examining more than 6,000 studies, the impacts and costs of 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming will be far greater than expected. The past decade has seen more record-breaking storms, forest fires, droughts, coral bleaching, heat waves, and floods with just 1.0 degrees Celsius of global warming. 
At the current level of commitments, the world is on course for a 3C of warming, risking natural tipping points such as thawing of large areas of permafrost—which could drive global temperatures uncontrollably higher. We need stronger larger country commitments flowing from COP24, but we can also take individual action.
Needles to say, for SIDS the consequences are even more dire, for example to keep shorelines where they are and preserve our coastal cities. At the COE, we try to do our part and focus on identifying, capturing and sharing knowledge to help SIDS policymakers act. We just concluded a gathering with renewable energy experts co-organized with IRENA's SIDS Lighthouse Initiative on "Resilience through Renewable Energy Strategies"; and are preparing for co-hosting the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Agency (CDEMA) on "Climate Security in the Caribbean" next week. The COE will capture and share the knowledge flowing from the consultation; you can follow the event live on the Planetary Security Initiative - Facebook Page.
Lastly, if you are at COP24 (or know colleagues who are) be sure to note the following SIDS side-event taking place December 6th :

Enjoy this last SIDSletter of 2018 and we we wish you a Happy and  Resilient 2019!

Best wishes,

Oranjestad, Aruba

ps. Feel free to forward this newsletter to colleagues who may not yet be on our list. Also, please help spread the word about our activities, let us know what you think, and follow us on our Twitter account @COE4SIDS with hashtag #SustainableSIDS. 


  Let's Collaborate... that together we can support islands in becoming more sustainable and resilient.
Conference "Resilience through Energy Strategies" in collaboration with IRENA
Oranjestad, Aruba  I  28 - 30 November, 2018

The  conference organized in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on "Resilience through Energy" aimed to  identify  factors  and  strategies  to  increase  renewable  energy  penetration  in  SIDS.    The  event  targeted  senior  officers  from  energy  ministries  and  public  utilities  in  the  region  who  are  responsible  for  planning  and  strategy  of  the  energy  sector.    The  overall  goal  was to  discuss  how  to  improve  the  financial  and  policy  frameworks  as  well  as  how  to  strengthen  the  local  capacities.  In  addition,  the  meeting  examined  the  role  that  renewable  energy  can  play  in  assisting  countries  in  achieving  Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)  targets  and  the  nexus  between  renewable  energy  and  food,  water,  and  health.   


IRENA SIDS Lighthouse 2.0 - Accelerating Renewable Energy in SIDS

 Let's Connect... that we don't miss opportunities to meet, discuss, and explore sustainable solutions for a more resilient future.

COP24 Side-event by PIDF "Building National, Regional  & International Partnerships for Island Resilience"  I  Katowice, Poland  I  4 December, 2018

This COP24 side-event aimed to share information about the Island Resilience Initiative, garner support for its expansion in other Pacific island countries and potentially other regions beyond the Pacific, and seek ways that the IRI outcomes best serve the UN processes.
Missed it? View the video

FELLOWSHIP AOSIS  I  New York, USA  I  7 December, 2018
A major challenge for AOSIS members in the UNFCCC process is finding the resources necessary to allow for representatives to engage in substantive training focused on the complex climate negotiations. This reality puts AOSIS members at a potential disadvantage in the negotiations, and prevents valuable experience from being transferred from the international arena to domestic government work, and vice versa. To address this challenge and to build lasting capacity in AOSIS member governments, the AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program was established. The Fellowship Program will begin in New York in February 2019.

COP24  I  Katowice, Poland  I  3-14 December, 2018
COP24 is the informal name for the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC is a “Rio Convention”, one of three adopted at the “Rio Earth Summit” in 1992. The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. In the course of the 2018 Climate Summit Poland would like to demonstrate how neutrality in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, i.e. a balance between CO2 emissions and its sequestration by soils and forests, can be attained. 

"Climate Security in the Caribbean" by CDEMA I  Oranjestad, Aruba  I  13 December, 2018
The regional planetary security initiative  is  proposed  to  be  convened  in Aruba  as  a  one-day  event  during  December  13,  2018. Organized by CDEMA in collaboration with the Aruba COE. The  theme  of  the  Conference  will  be  Climate  and  Security  in  the  Caribbean  Region:  A  Roadmap  to  Resilience and  it will  bring  together technical  experts,  practitioners  and policymakers  from  across  the  Caribbean in the  areas  of climate  change, disaster  risk  management  and  security.  The  Conference  will  provide  a  space  for  reflection on  the  key  issues  related  to  climate  and  security.
Read more... 

"Sharing Stories of Island Life, Governance and Global Engagement" I Oranjestad, Aruba I 26 - 29  March, 2019
“The 1st International Conference on Small Island States (SIS) and Subnational Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs) Governance". The University of Prince Edward Island and University of Malta whom hold the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability are collaborating with the University of Aruba and the COE to deliver a conference on island governance on Aruba on 26 - 29 March of 2019. How do the institutional structures on Small Island States and Territories assist or limit the ability to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

 Let's Collect...
... so that we do not reinvent the wheel or repeat mistakes, but rather build and improve on the best practices of others.
SDG Implementation Corner

The COE closely follows the SDG Aruba team to capture lessons and insights from their SDG implementation journey that can benefit other SIDS. In this corner they provide a monthly update as well as other related news relevant to SIDS.

The SDG implementation process in Aruba continues. A conversation on Aruba’s SDG's Implementation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Ms. Jocelyne Croes - Chair Aruba National SDG Commission, Special Advisor Multilateral Affairs, and Alternate Chair COE attended the Regional Caribbean workshop on prospects, challenges and emerging tools for SDG implementation held at the end of November in Jamaica
Ms. Ghislaine Nicolaas - Policy Officer Department of Foreign Affairs Aruba attended the Inter-regional preparatory meeting for the Mid-Term Review of the Samoa Pathway held at the end of October in Samoa.

Please watch the interview with key insights, main challenges and valuable tools such as UN DESA’s SIDS Partnership Toolbox, UNDP’s SDG Impact for Investors and Businesses and more…

Key resources:
For more information, please check the website,
email them at and
follow them on 
Facebook@SDGAruba & Twitter@SDGAruba

 Also good to know...
The UN launches Campaign to Promote Climate Action by the People with AI chat bot with Facebook

  • The is a fully interactive and responsive chat bot, located on the UN’s Facebook page that suggests everyday actions – determined by the user’s interaction with the bot – that can be taken to preserve the environment and logged on the platform to be shared with social media followers to persuade them to take action too.

    The collective actions will be presented during the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in New York in September 2019.

  • Last but not least: stay tuned for a special issue re "The Metabolism of Islands” in the open access journal SUSTAINABILITY (MDPI). Read more here...  
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