Sustainable Development is hard work, no surprise there. At the Centre of Excellence for the Sustainable Development of SIDS we’ve been working hard to capture and disseminate good examples from SIDS everywhere. As usual, you will find some of them in this month’s SIDSletter.

For example, we have been supporting Aruba’s effort to implement the SDGs. We are capturing this process and its lessons-learned to develop a SIDS toolkit for SDG implementation. A recent UN 'MAPS' mission to Aruba provided much food for thought. Watch our corresponding webinar about the MAPS mission and SDGs in SIDS here.

And there is much more in the pipeline. A few things we are working on:

  • Developing the Online Course "Sustainable Energy for SIDS Policy-makers" together with Hamburg University and IRENA;
  • Preparing for several in-country missions for “Roadmaps for Sustainable Development”, for example to Samoa, Seychelles and Vanuatu. Our partner TNO will carry out this technical assistance;
  • Sponsoring the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Awards where we will be awarding a special “Bridging Islands of Knowledge” award in September.

Last but not least: the UN Ocean Conference is coming up! We are co-organizing an insightful side-event "Islands of Inspiration: from Talk to Action on SDG14" with the Marshall Islands, Samoa, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the morning of June 5th. We hope to see you there, but if not:  please do reach out and connect with us another time, so we can exchange insights in sustainable development in SIDS.

With kind regards,


 Arno Boersma, Manager, COE

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

Global Live Q&A Session "SDGs in SIDS"
Global Live Q&A Session "SDGs in SIDS"

  Let's Collaborate...
As the COE actively seeks collaborations to promote ways to become more sustainable, we connected with The Americas Sustainable Development Foundation who - together with the University of Aruba - organized a workshop on the Circular Economy. Keynote speaker Ken Alston, CEO of MBDC , the creators of a successful framework Cradle to Cradleexplains what this means for islands in his blog for the COE.  
Should we go in circles to reach SDG#12?

Mr. Ken Alston on the Circular Economy

Sustainability on Islands?
We Should Just Go Round In Circles!
Ever since Sustainable Development became “a thing” with its definition in the Brundtland Commission’s 1987 report ‘Our Common Future’, we’ve been trying to take actions designed to make our modern life sustainable.
Individuals, companies, organizations and governments have all made positive sounding statements and tried to move towards this sustainable place. In 2015 the United Nation’s presented 17 goals, the so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are a terrific set of targets that we can readily accept and aspire to meet.
But are we getting there? Or are we just going round in circles? And what does it mean for islands?
The reason for these questions is that thirty years after the Bruntland definition, despite a lot of goodwill and well intentioned activity, we are still nowhere near sustainable.
There’s a hard fact that most organizations – and island nations - have yet to come to terms with. Namely, you can’t become sustainable just by eco-efficiency actions, reducing, avoiding and minimizing use of materials, energy and water.
Eco-efficiency may help reduce the negative impact of a particular product or process and that’s important to do, but it doesn’t change the underlying design and in the end you are still unsustainable, just less so than before. Read more...

  Let's Connect...
Check out these events to connect with other SIDS policy-makers:

Blue Planet Symposium | College Park Maryland, USA | May 31 - June 2, 2017 
The 3rd Blue Planet Symposium will serve as a forum for discussion of societal information needs resulting from the important role the oceans play in Earth's life-support system and the challenge of minimizing the impacts of human activities on the oceans while utilizing the resources of the oceans to meet our needs. Attendance from a wide variety of sectors including research, government agencies, industry, charitable foundations, NGOs and nonprofits is expected. Read more...

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Conference | Jamaica | 28-30 June, 2017
At the launch of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Conference (to be held in Jamaica from June 28-30), Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, pointed out that the SDGs present us with a new and effective avenue for global development. She explained the role of inclusive partnerships and made the link with the UNDP 2016 Caribbean Human Development Report (CHDR) – Multidimensional Progress: Human Resilience Beyond Income. The 2017 SDG Conference in Jamaica aims to promote inclusive partnerships and focus on the specific human challenges of the region in a holistic and integrative manner. Read more...

High-Level Pacific Blue Economy Conference | Solomon Islands  | 23-24 August, 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 CONFERECE on SDG 14. 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 a case study regarding Sustainable Energy.

Up next... the COE is collaborating with OECS, The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to share lessons learned from the Moulinere Beasejour Marine Protected Area in Grenada and the Mero Drainage Project in Dominica.

Please let us know if you have good practices in sustainable development to share and we will work with you to 'package' them for effective dissemination.

Featured Case Study

This case study discusses the policies and strategies adopted by the Government of Aruba to move the country from 20% to 100% of renewable energy use by 2020. It focuses on the Reliable, Affordable and Sustainable (RAS) approach, a way designed to facilitate and enhance cooperation between stakeholders, manage political expectations, create a common framework of understanding and enable informed decision-making and realistic planning for the transition to renewable energy.
Related Resources:

Sustainable Energy for ALL  (SE4ALL) Country Level Actions: The SE4ALL Forum was held in New York from 3 - 5 April, 2017. Over 70 developing countries have completed rapid assessments/gap analyses to help determine the main challenges and opportunities in achieving the goals of SE4ALL. Based on these assessments, many of countries are taking the next steps by drafting SE4ALL Action Agendas and Investment Prospectuses which aim to scale up actions in priority areas and attract new investments and financial support.

See some Country Level Actions by 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.


UNDP supported the 'MAPS' Planning Mission on Aruba 

The SDG Commission of Aruba hosted a ‘United Nations Sustainable Development Planning Mission’ between the 15th and 19th of May 2017, in coordination with the visit of a group of experts. This six member team from the United Nations Sustainable Development Program (UNDP) conducted a MAPS mission, (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support ), which is a methodology utilized by the United Nations Development System to support countries  in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They met with national stakeholders to discuss the SDGs implementation with a six-team UNDP MAPS team. The team consisted of the following six members: Marcel Alers (Leader), Emery Kenroy Roach, Devika Iyer, Massimillano Riva, Ivan Gonzalez de Alba, and Richard Blewitt. 


Several thematic group and private sessions were held where the community's opinions were taken into consideration in the forming of a comprehensive Roadmap for policy implementation. More than a 150 stakeholders participated in the session-filled weeklong event. A debriefing was given on the fifth and last day to present a draft roadmap for the implementation of the SDGs in Aruba. Though it is still a work-in-progress, the UNDP team made a comprehensive report and clearly highlighted the priority areas for support in implementing the SDGs in Aruba. Read more ...

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

  Also good to know...
Tip: set a Google Alert for 'small island developing states' and 'SDG' and stay informed of relevant news as it evolves. 

Two note-worthy news items from Pacific SIDS:
  • Fiji a Crucial Payer in Global Fight Against Climate Change. 
    Learn more here.
  • Government of Maldives Signs Project with UNDP: Towards a Climate Resilient Future in the Water Sector. 
    Learn more here
"Leaving No One Behind"  
Examples from Papua New Guinea on Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable Development Goals: Leaving No One Behind – Examples from Papua New Guinea
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