Island Resilience...
now more than ever.


The SIDSletter is a monthly publication of the 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.

It never ceases to amaze how many are working on creating a new kind of world.  Especially in these crucial times with climate change being an imminent threat to the planet and especially islands. Thus a focus on resilience is key as we work together, create and share sustainable solutions such as the Island Resilience Initiative: GLISPA Impact Dashboard.

In this context, the COE is co-organizing with Ernst & Young Caribbean an event in the spirit of Building Back Better: A  "Do-Tank" which will take place on St. Maarten  from March 16-18, 2018 with outcomes intended to benefit SIDS around the world. The Do-Tank (a hackathon-like Think-Tank) will be a 48-hour event to boost actionable ideas around key topics for recovery and reconstruction. To stimulate private sector involvement, trade missions from other islands will be organized in parallel. See more here 

Additionally, the COE is delivering an free online course on Sustainable Energy for SIDS policymakers starting February  5th. In light of recent events in the Caribbean with Hurricane Irma, Maria and the devastation it has caused, the importance of energy security for policy-makers in SIDS is key. How resilient are technologies in the light of extreme events? Lets discuss! Register here

Last highlight to note: in the larger context of delivering the 17 SDGs by 2030, the COE is developing an online toolkit for implementing the SDGs in SIDS. See the beta version here and if you have relevant documents to share and be included, please let us know.

Please help spread the word on these initiatives and follow us on our Twitter account @COE4SIDS with hashtag #SustainableSIDS. We look forward to supporting you with your SDGs and helping you to build back better as we continue to bridge islands of knowledge.

Best wishes,

Oranjestad, Aruba

ps. feel free to forward this newsletter to colleagues who may not yet be on our list. 


Last chance to register for this free online course! 
The COE is collaborating with Hamburg University to offer an insightful free Online course on Sustainable Energy for SIDS Policymakers, starting February 5th, 2018.

  Let's Collaborate...
The COE actively seeks collaboration to support islands to become more sustainable and resilient. As a follow-up to our face-to-face training on building roadmaps for sustainable development, the COE is providing in-county technical assistance through the expertise of our partner TNO Caribbean
Continued COE support to SIDS:
Vanuatu & Seychelles

The latest in-country Technical Assistance weeks have been offered to Vanuatu and Seychelles. The first Technical Assistance Week provided was to Antigua and Barbuda (shortly following Hurricane Irma) and subsequently  to Jamaica. Read about these here in our previous newsletter.  

The aim of the Technical Assistance Weeks is to assist SIDS in either developing a strategic plan/roadmap (planning phase) or moving plans/roadmaps into actions (implementing phase) depending on the expressed needs.

The Technical Assistance week on Vanuatu focused on the implementation phase of their Sustainable Energy roadmap and provide technical expertise on the implementation of energy efficiency measures. In Seychelles the focus was to assist the Department of Tourism of Seychelles on developing a roadmap to promote energy efficiency in the tourism sector.  One particular added-value of the missions was stakeholder engagement, bringing them to the table and facilitating a constructive discussion on what each is working on. In Seychelles, for example, about 20 stakeholders participated in the workshop, including the Department of Energy, NGOs, students of the Seychelles University Master Sustainable Tourism, Hoteliers, and chief engineers of several hotels. You can read more about the missions here: on Vanuatu; on Seychelles.

We will be offering more TA Weeks to SIDS in 2018, next will be Belize and Dominican Republic. In spirit of learning and knowledge sharing among the SIDS by to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we will be sharing the knowledge coming out of these missions.

Photo: Workshop in Vanuatu

Photo: Workshop in Seychelles

  Let's Connect...
Please find below a selection of upcoming events relevant for SIDS policy makers:

The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development I Bonn, Germany I 21- 23 March, 2018
The Global Festival of Action for Sustainable Development is “powered by the UN SDG Action Campaign” with the support of Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Festival will focus on three core themes in 2018: Innovation and disruptive change; Citizen engagement; and Communicating the SDGs. The festival will seek to recognize and celebrate “innovators, conveners and breakthrough actors” on the world's intractable development problems, and will showcase the latest innovations, tools and approaches to SDG implementation.

7th International Conference on Environmental Future (7ICEF): Humans and Island Environments I Honolulu, Hawai'i I 16 - 20 April, 2018
Organized by the Foundation for Environmental Conservation, East-West Center, and University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, ICEF7 seeks to advance the global and multi- disciplinary conversation around environmental futures with a specific focus in 2018 on ‘Humans and Island Environments’. The conference will be held from the 16 - 20 April 2018 in Honolulu, Hawai'i, at the East-West Center's Imin International Conference Center. A diverse group of islanders, scientists, managers, and policymakers from around the world will discuss the pressing environmental issues islands are facing. 

Smart Island World Congress I Mallorca, Spain I April 23 - 24, 2018
Smart Island World Congress brings together experts from all around the world to explore the opportunities that can arise from the unique challenges facing islands in areas such as efficiency, urban planning and economic and social development in the global era. For two days, the most innovative and inspirational experts will debate and discuss practices, solutions, and the present state and future course of island management across the globe. 

Sustainable Futures for the Caribbean International Conference I Montego Bay, Jamaica I April 25 - 27, 2018
In celebrating the University of West Indies 70th Anniversary, the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies issued a call for papers for its 19th Annual Conference with the theme: Sustainable Futures for the Caribbean: Critical Interventions and the 2030 Agenda. The conference takes place from April 25-27, 2018 in Montego Bay Jamaica. It is focused on the Caribbean region, but will have relevance for all SIDS. Scholars, practitioners, policy makers and students as well as the general public, will seek to provide analyses of the multiple political challenges and prospects for sustainable social and economic growth by 2030 and beyond.

Sustainable Energy 4 All Forum I Lisbon, Portugal I 2-3 May, 2018
Organized by the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Partnership, this annual event provides a marketplace for leaders from government, business and civil society to discuss ideas for providing access to affordable and clean energy for all and supporting a revolution in energy productivity. The event will also feature the launch of the fourth edition of the Global Tracking Framework on trends in energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Join us to help SXM Build Back Better
and work together for a resilient future.

(You will also be able to connect virtually to the event; insights will be captured
and shared on the COE virtual platform


  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.

Essential to the implementation of the SDGs is a strong institutional framework that includes all stakeholders and can transcend governmental cycles. Below is a UNDP publication on recommendations for the institutional framework for implementing the SDGs.

Additionally, the COE is developing an online toolkit for implementing the SDGs in SIDS. Please find the beta version at  which will be evolving and populated on a continuous basis. Also please reach out to us if you have relevant material to share on the toolkit (and let us know what you think! email to:
The Institutional and Coordination Mechanisms
This guidance provides information on how countries have adapted their existing institutional and coordination frameworks or established new ones in order to implement the SDGs. 

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 we provide a monthly update as well as other related news relevant to SIDS.

             The Role of Parliament in implementing the SDGs

Parliaments play a vital role with their legislative, budgetary and oversight functions. As a main institution in democratic governance countries, parliaments inherent in their composition are elected representatives of their constituents and therefore the most representative decision-making body in a country. Further to their institutionalized functions, parliament are to play a significant role in supporting and monitoring SDG implementation.

In the case of Aruba, on the invitation of the Parliament of Aruba, the SDG Aruba National Commission gave two presentations in the month of January. Twice a year the parliaments of the four autonomous countries of the Kingdom; Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten meet during the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Conference (IPKO) to exchange points of view and create mutual understanding on the matters concerning the countries and in which areas to possibly collaborate more on. The first IPKO of 2018, was held from 9-12 January 2018 in Aruba where the SDG Aruba National Commission and the SDG Indicators Working Group, made a joint presentation towards the parliamentary delegation from the Kingdom. Informing the audience of the journey in SDG implementation in Aruba done so far. Highlights include the: establishment of two SDG bodies, based on the overall coordination and the indicators, participation at the High-Level Political Forum in 2017, holding several participatory and inclusive consultation rounds with key stakeholders, development of a communication strategy and the development of a SDG roadmap for Aruba. Later in the same month during the ECLAC mission to Aruba, which will be addressed in depth in the next newsletter, the presentation was focused on the development of a national statistical system in Aruba in order to increase the capability to measure the over 200 indicators of the SDGs.

Photo: The SDG Aruba National commission and ECLAC mission team with parliamentarians of Aruba.

By engaging with parliament at both a national and Kingdom level, the SDG Aruba National Commission is continuing to follow the participatory approach method advised by the UNDP SDG implementation process. A major milestone has been achieved with the IPKO deciding to install committees to continue the discussion on SDGs between the parliamentarians and the Parliament of Aruba is currently deliberating to have a committee installed on the national level as well.

The SDG Aruba National Commission is committed to provide any assistance requested by parliament, its committees and the parliamentarians regarding SDG implementation in Aruba.

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

  Also good to know...

Empowering Changemakers in SIDS

Read more on examples in Fiji & Samoa here
ACP MEAs: Empowering Changemakers
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