COP Put Islands On Top


If you missed the prominence of SIDS on the COP23 agenda, you must have been on a... remote island with no connectivity. It was truly the 'island' COP, hosted and led skillfully by Fiji, renewing the sense of urgency of the effects of climate change on island states.

Key take-away is that the SIDS continue to advocate intensely for limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. Read here more on the Top 10 Things to know about Climate Change. Although the Paris Agreement comes into effect in 2020, many are already taking #ClimateAction.

A crucial follow-up action is financing. For example, over US$2 billion  has been pledged, half of which in loans and debt relief, for long-term recovery in hurricane-affected Caribbean during CARICOM-UN High-level Pledging Conference held on November 21st. At this conference, the Kingdom of The Netherlands also announced their continued support to the COE as we increase our emphasis on sharing knowledge around resilience.

Quite fittingly, during COP, the Centre of Excellence (COE) for the Sustainable Development of SIDS celebrated its first anniversary. Our Twitter account @COE4SIDS was launched, we met up with many partners like GLISPA and GCECA, and connected with island policy-makers around our various knowledge services and their needs.  The COE will be sharing materials and insights from COP23 on our virtual platform.

As our next newsletter will be in January 2018, we wish you happy and sustainable holidays, and look forward to continued collaboration to bridge islands of knowledge in 2018.

FYI.. we have a hashtag #SustainableSIDS

Francielle Laclé
COE Team, Aruba

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


Watch Fiji's Timoci urgent call to world leaders at the opening of COP23

Building a More Climate-resilient Community - UNDP

Building a More Climate-resilient Community - UNDP

  Let's Collaborate...
The COE actively seeks collaboration to support islands to become more sustainable. As a follow-up to last year's 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.  “We selected TNO because of their experience with sustainable solutions in the island context, as well as their unique combination of research and project implementation,” explains Arno Boersma, manager of the COE.
COE SIDS Support #1:
Waste Management on Antigua
The first mission was to Antigua and Barbuda shortly following Hurricane Irma. The topic was the development of a roadmap around waste management. Antigua and Barbuda, like most islands, have a challenge with waste management. Their landfill is overflowing and in need of a sustainable long-term solution. A team of TNO experts worked with local stakeholders to identify solutions and develop a roadmap towards addressing this problem. The participants were glad to get inspiration from island case-studies and to look into possibilities to collaborate with islands in the region. Mr. Kris Kats, Environmental and Waste Management Expert at TNO explains: “We have been working with the islands over the past years to study solutions for waste management, business cases for re-use and possible regional collaboration. The lessons learned from these efforts position us well to develop strategies that are sensitive to the island scale and cultural context”. Read an earlier blogpost re this mission here.

     Ms. Gail Nelson of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, during the recent COE technical assistance workshops on Jamaica. She had also participated in the COE workshops on "Building Roadmaps for Sustainable Development" on Aruba.

COE SIDS Support #2:
Energy Systems on Jamaica
The second mission was to Jamaica. The focus was on assisting the local Sustainable Development Goals team to better understand island energy systems and develop a strategy to monitor the SDG indicators for energy. A key conclusion was to gain insight in the various energy-related actions in order to better monitor progress and take targeted actions. Ruurd Schoolderman, Strategic Advisor Energy and Sustainable Island Development for TNO: “Island energy systems have unique characteristics due to the small scale and fact that they cannot rely on a larger system as back-up for reliability. This makes integration of renewable energy and affordability a challenge. We draw heavily from the lessons learned from earlier projects and share our experience as part of these technical assistance visits”. Please find a presentation on this mission here.

  Let's Connect...
2017 may be winding down, but there are are still various SIDS-relevant events on the calendar. Please find below upcoming events where SIDS policy makers will connect:

Sustainable Futures for the Caribbean International Conference I Call for abstracts by December 15

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.

Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum | St.Kitts | December 12-13, 2017 
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the St.Kitts Ministry of Tourism will host a Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum from 12-13 December 2017, under the theme “Good for us, better for all”. The conference brings stakeholders together to lead positive change in the development of climate resilient and sustainable Caribbean tourism. The COE will present it's "Bridging Islands of Knowledge" award to a project that has been exemplary in knowledge sharing.
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. One way we do that is through contributing to SIDS-relevant events. Here are conference materials from recent events: 

Knowledge on a Mission Conference | Washington, DC | November 10th, 2017.
Where the COE was hosted by the World Bank Group - IFC to present its work and key knowledge challenges, together with the Carbon War Room's Business Renewables Center. The challenges were subsequently addressed by the participants during a 'knowledge jam' facilitated by well-known knowledge management experts. .
Find LinkedIn post about the event here 

Knowledge in Motion workshop - Green Aruba Conference | Aruba | November 15-17, 2017. Where the COE collaborated with CAREC, and RMI-CARBON WAR ROOM to deliver the Knowledge in Motion workshop on identifying ways to action for renewable energy implementation.
Find the workshop material here & other conference material

Connecting Virtually with Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Conference

Sustainable Tourism in SIDS | Seychelles | November 22-24, 2017. Where the COE presented a video of the case study of the Aruba-based Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort on the implementation of sustainable certifications in the hotel sector.
Find the virtual video here  other conference material
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.

2017 has been a year where Aruba's National SDG Commission was officially instituted and continuously worked towards the implementation of the SDGs at the local level. From workshops and presentations for the public sector/private sector/ and NGOs, to the visit of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  MAPS (Monitoring Acceleration and Programme Support) Expert Team, and a mission from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).  The result of these many workshops - involving a wide range of stakeholders and visits - is the Aruba SDG Roadmap. The SDG Aruba roadmap is a thorough analysis of the current situation in Aruba with regards to the most important development challenges. The roadmap focuses on Aruba’s most pressing development needs in the social-economic and environmental sectors (accelerators) and offers solutions for these. 

The National SDG Commission is currently in the process of finalizing the feedback to the SDG Roadmap of Aruba, which incorporates input from multiple stakeholders and partners. The next step will be to present the roadmap to the new Aruba Government, which was installed in mid-November.  This process is crucial going forward, receiving the input and endorsement of the new government before it goes back to the United Nations Development Program in order to further strengthen Aruba’s commitment towards the SDGs.

Towards 2018, the Aruban National SDG Commission will be focusing on the following steps:

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

  Also good to know...

The SDG Action App

Learn about SDG’s and get news on select ones, find out how you can take action. Read more...

Stay Tuned for 2018... 
  • The COE is collaborating with Hamburg University and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in developing an insightful free Online course on Sustainable Energy for SIDS Policymakers, to start in February of 2018.
  • The COE is creating an SDG Implementation Toolkit for especially for SIDS to be launched beginning of 2018.
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