Sustainable Tourism:
Let SIDS Knowledge Travel!

In case you somehow missed it: 2017 has been declared by the UN as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. With tourism being such an important sector for many SIDS, it provides an opportunity for us all to take another good look at how ambitions of a flourishing tourism sector can go hand-in-hand with sustainable development. Approaching this challenge in the context of the Global Goals makes a lot of sense, as many SIDS are working on implementing the SDGs. The tourism sector touches on all SDGs, but in particular the ones that focus on economic growth (SDG 8), sustainable consumption/production (SDG 12) and life below water (SDG 14). Many related activities have been initiated or are ongoing, such as the initiatives to benefit 17 Pacific SIDS by the South Pacific Tourism Organization, as reported in The SIDS Times.


In this light, the Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development of SIDS (COE) is scanning the globe for great examples of how SIDS have approached this challenge, and to share the insights with the SIDS community for the benefit of all. (For example, you may recall our case study of Bucuti resort in an earlier SIDSLetter). We are also in contact with leading tourism organizations to see how we can together surface good examples of sustainable tourism to inspire others.

Have a great example to share? However big or small, if it is relevant to SIDS, we’d love to hear about it. As we Collaborate, Connect and Collect with SIDS policy-makers from around the world, we truly want to make SIDS knowledge travel. So let's be in touch and together bridge islands of knowledge!

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

  Let's Collaborate...

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Ocean Action...

Pledge to #SaveOurOcean
A much anticipated event for SIDS this year is The Ocean Conference to be held from 5-9 June in New York. The Conference's Registry has opened to collect voluntary commitments that contribute to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 "Life Below Water". These commitments are initiatives within the framework of the 2030 Agenda targeting SDG14, voluntarily undertaken by UN member states, businesses, civil society organizations, the UN System and other intergovernmental organizations. 

The first three commitments submitted are:

* A Peaceboat initiative on minimizing the impacts of ocean acidification
* The UN Environment Programme’s Clean Seas global campaign on plastic pollution and other marine litter
* Sweden’s commitment to reach its Marine Protected Area (MPA) target by 2017
For more information click here
SIDS exchanged experiences and lessons at the UN Bahamas Symposium

The UN Bahamas Symposium, held from February 21-23, was well-attended by ministers and high-level officials from over 40 SIDS and other countries. At the Symposium, participants shared insights on how they have adapted the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to their national situation and priorities and incorporated them in their development plans and policies.
Read about the outcomes of the Symposium here: informal communiqué

The Caribbean Sustainable Development Forum (CSDF) set priorities for regional cooperation

The Caribbean Sustainable Development Forum (CSDF) convened from 21-23 February in Aruba, bringing together representatives from governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector and academia throughout the Caribbean to discuss areas in which strengthened cooperation could promote sustainable development for Small Island Development States in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Read about the outcomes of the Forum here: CSDF declaration
Learning from The Bahamas on implementing the 2030 Agenda
 and the SAMOA Pathway

Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle
Director of Economic Development and Planning
Office of the Prime Minister, The Bahamas

  Let's Connect...
Over 1,000 high-level leaders from government, business, civil society and international organizations will gather in New York City for the 3rd Sustainable Energy for All Forum. The forum, with the theme “Going Further, Faster – Together”, will be a marketplace to help broker new partnerships and ideas, spur investment and drive action towards sustainable energy and realize SDG7.
Learn more here
Pre-registration is required by eligible and interested representatives of NGOs and major groups identified in Agenda 21 to participate in the high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainable use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development – the Ocean Conference - to be convened in New York, from 5 - 9 June 2017.

On-Line pre-registration is open from 27 March - 8 May 2017.
Learn more here


Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that the World Bank has agreed to partner with Jamaica and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the historic Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development, which will be held from November 27 - 29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, Jamaica.
Learn more here.

  Let's Collect...
A key goal of the COE is to capture good practices and especially lessons learned in sustainable development from SIDS from around the world and share them for the benefit of all. This month the COE features a Voluntary National Review of a SIDS.

The Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Featured Voluntary National Review: SAMOA

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of the Independent State of Samoa, addresses the General Assembly High-level Thematic Debate on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on 21 April 2016 (Photo credit)

Samoa was part of the 2016 Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of the UN high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF), thereby contributing to bringing to light the necessities for SIDS to be able to localize and report on their Sustainable Development efforts. 

In 2017, Belize and Maldives are part of Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) of the UN high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF).

During the UN Bahamas Symposium, Frederick Musiiwa Makamure Shava, President of the Economic and Social Council, reported that two countries have already signed-up for the 2018 country-level reviews, including the SIDS Singapore and encouraged more SIDS to volunteer to do so.

Insightful resources:
SDG Implementation Corner

The SDG Commission of Aruba  is currently carrying out stakeholder engagement sessions, for example at the Chamber of Commerce as pictured above,  to inform and create partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Stakeholder engagement with Chamber of Commerce, 24 March 2017 (Photo credit: SDG team Aruba)

Stakeholder engagement process

The first private sector workshop was with The Aruba Trade and Industry Association (ATIA); this was a crucial step to rally the private sector in supporting the SDGs. This was followed-up with a meeting on the 24th of March 2017, where the SDG Commission discussed the SDG implementation with board members of The Chamber of Commerce. Aruba’s SDG Commission was also involved in an information session on the SDGs with The Parliament of Aruba. 

Awareness raising & localization 

The SDG Commission of Aruba is striving to create a higher level of SDG awareness on the island especially via social media. Together with their partners, SDG Aruba is creating an SDG awareness campaign study, in order to have a better understanding and thereby create the most effective awareness campaign possible. The awareness report will lead to a strategy which will contain key topics such as: the campaign message, target audiences, communications strategies, and other important data that would serve to bolster the SDG Aruba awareness campaign. 

For more information, check and follow them on

  Also good to know...
E-course on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development | 8 May - 9 June 2017
A five-week online course offered by the UNSSC for UN staff and development practitioners will introduce the key conceptual and practical aspects of sustainable development and Agenda 2030.
Learn more here.

Online platform and business network for the sustainable development of Small Island Development States (SIDS) 
The Small Island Developing States Global Business Network (SIDS-GBN) is an online platform and resource hub to share best practices and lessons learned in support of private sector partnerships for small island developing States (SIDS).
Learn more here.

Job Opportunity at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Programme Officer, SIDS Lighthouses – P4
Learn more here.
Want to understand the dimensions of the
Sustainable Development Goals in 4 minutes?
A video by the UNSSC Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development
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Centre of Excellence for Sustainable SIDS · Arnold M Schuttestraat 2 · Oranjestad · Aruba

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