The Centre of Excellence (COE) for the Sustainable Development of SIDS recently joined the Sustainable Development Goals Conference in Jamaica to gather insights and engage with SIDS policy-makers. It was great to see many familiar faces, such as Ms. Darlene Padron from Belize, who had participated in the COE inaugural training in November of last year.

Ms. Darlene Padron, policy-maker from Belize and myself at the SDG Conference in Jamaica

All of the 17 Goals were discussed, but one stood out for me: gender equality and the role of women in fostering the implementation of SDGs. There was also a youth forum.

Needless to say, as a young professional and woman, the combination of these two topics touches me personally. I left inspired and full of insights to follow-up after the conference .

It made me wonder: How do we catalyze progress on gender equality and sustainable development? What are the current obstacles for young women's empowerment in SIDS? How do we increase the number of young women in engineering and STEM education? How do we empower them for their participation in politics?

(Source: UN Women)

Unfortunately, I haven't answered these questions yet ;-) These are just a few challenges to achieve SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), which is intrinsically linked to all 17 Goals. Investing in youth and gender equality so that everyone can be involved in decisions that affect their lives is important to reach a sustainable and just society for all.

I do hope we can collaborate among SIDS to take steps in the right direction.

So, do you have examples of initiatives in youth involvement and or women leadership in your SIDS that you would like to share? Please let me know so we can share with others through the COE's channels. 

Francielle Lacle
COE Team, Aruba

Stay Tuned... 
  • Please save the date for our next COE Global Live Q&A Session on August 22nd. This time we will focus on afterschool programs in SIDS with Ed Spitzberg, previously Vice President at the Afterschool Alliance  in the U.S.
    All subscribers to this newsletter will receive an invite.
  • The COE will be contributing to the Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum from 6-8 September 2017, under the theme “Good for us, better for all”, where we will present, be part of the awards jury and collaborate as the sponsor of the "Bridging Islands of Knowledge" award in the field of sustainable tourism.
  • 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 be delivered in the fall of 2017.
  • The COE is developing two case studies together with the Organization for Eastern Caribbean State (OECS); Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network Project (ECMMAN): Moulinere Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Grenada & Reduce Risk to Human and Natural Assets resulting in Climate Change (RRACC): Mero Drainage Project in Dominica.
  • The COE is creating an SDG Implementation Toolkit for SIDS to be launched in the fall of 2017.

  Let's Collaborate...
Prof. Raymond SanerCSEND Geneva
n Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in SIDS
Financing the SDGs in SIDS through PPPs: 
a good dose of relevant knowledge needed.

The United Nations, in association with the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) Mona, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) of Jamaica hosted a regional conference under the theme: “Caribbean Development – The 2030 Agenda in Perspective” on June 28-30, 2017.

The conference brought together academics, ministers and high ranking officials and representatives of civil society. The format of the conference consisted of separate working sessions attended by government officials and parallel meetings of academics and representatives of International Organizations. Both groups were merged occasionally and chaired by various high ranking government officials and international experts provided input on topics ranging from financing of the SDGs to implementation of the SDGs at national level. This conference format worked very well and it was a pleasure to see government officials, academics and representatives of international organization engage in animated discussions that generated valuable new insights and expressions of commitments to regional cooperation. I will highlight a few of the insights here.

In order to achieve the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda, very substantial financial investment will be required. According to the 2014 World Investment Report (WIR) by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), approximately $ 4 trillion will be required every year in developing countries alone for the SDGs to be achieved by 2030. Given the current levels of investment in all SDG-related sectors by both public and private bodies, developing countries face a funding gap of $2.5 trillion per year.
It is unlikely that government budgets and official development aid will be able to compensate fully for this funding gap. Read more...
Please watch a video interview with Prof. Raymond Saner here

  Let's Connect...
There is a lot happening in Sustainable Tourism! Find below some upcoming events where SIDS policymakers will connect:
Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum | St.Kitts | September 6-8, 2017 
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the St.Kitts Ministry of Tourism will host a Climate Smart Sustainable Tourism Forum from 6-8 September 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.
Read more…

Pacific Tourism Insight Conference | Vanuatu | October 25, 2017
Vanuatu will host the first iteration of the Pacific Tourism Insight Conference. The conference will focus on the future of tourism in the Pacific and the framework needed to support its development. At this conference, stakeholders will come together to discuss the goals set in the Pacific Tourism Strategy 2015-2019 as well as to network among both regional and international participants.
Read more…

Sustainable Tourism in SIDS | Seychelles | November 22-24, 2017
Seychelles will host a conference on sustainable tourism from 22-24 November 2017 addressing protected areas and tourism’s social responsibility in regards to SIDS. Tourism professionals, academics, and practitioners from other SIDS and the region are invited to discuss an integrated practical approach to sustainable tourism in SIDS.
Read more…

Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism | Jamaica | November 27-29, 2017
The conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism will be held in Jamaica on 27-29 November 2017. The aim of the conference is to foster collaborative relationships for inclusive economic and social development via tourism as well as achieve tangible results in the form of practical plans.
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 several highlights from the Jamaica Conference on the implementation of the SDGs held from 28 - 30 June as well as the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) held 10 - 19 July 2017.                

SDG Conference Jamaica 28-30 June, 2017

National Representatives' Perspectives: SDG implementation

National Representatives' Perspectives

High-Level Political Forum 10-19 July, 2017

High-Level Political Forum: Reviewing SDG progress 
DESA: High-Level Political Forum: Reviewing SDG progress
SIDS Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the SDGs at HLPF 2017:
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.
Collecting Stories and Youth Empowerment
Youth representatives, Ms. Mariana da Silva de Sousa of the Heart-Centered Leadership Foundation
and Ms. Gilia Croes of the Youth Parliament of Aruba
at the High-Level Political Forum held from 10 - 19 July, 2017
SDG Aruba is currently in the process of creating a communication plan that will help guide the national SDG Commission in raising awareness on Agenda 2030 and the 17 Global Goals. One high-priority project is the creation of videos to attract both invested stakeholders as well as to form meaningful partnerships with the current local SDG custodians. SDG Aruba therefore has been focusing on collecting video stories from many different stakeholders and organizations on the island. This material will be used in creating short videos showcasing how they have contributed to the sustainable development of the Island. These stories of best practices will be shared on the social media platform in order to bring more visibility to the organization and bring the concept of sustainable development to the local level. The SDG Commission hopes that by recognizing and highlighting these local initiatives, it will also serve to foster a more integrated collaboration on the SDGs and help engage the general public to be more pro-active in civil engagement and together work towards achieving the 2030 agenda.  

During the month of July, the  SDG Commission formed part of the Kingdom Delegation that attended the United Nation’s High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development in New York City to present the joint Voluntary National Review for the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Commission also facilitated the participation of two Aruban Youth representatives to the HLPF. These two youth representatives and ambassadors of SDG Aruba were elected by two different youth- organizations that had previously worked with the SDG Commission and were therefore familiar with the SDGs. Mariana da Silva de Sousa from the Heart-Centered Leadership Foundation and Gilia Croes from the Youth Parliament of Aruba were selected to travel to New York for the forum and had a very enriching learning experience. Furthermore, they brought back valuable tools, perspectives, and new means of implementation that will benefit the locally-based youth organizations as well as other NGOs.

Some of the events and conferences that the Aruban youth representatives attended included: The (Dutch Kingdom’s) Voluntary National Reviews; Promoting Inclusive Prosperity in a Changing World; Youth Skills for The Future of Work; Teen Pregnancies; Civil Society as a Driver for Change towards Sustainable Societies; The Youth and the SDGs; and Higher Education as a Key Driver for the SDGs, and many others.

One of the more impactful observations recognized by the two youth representatives was the importance of youth engagement and inclusiveness within SDG implementation in both the national and international arenas.

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

  Also good to know...
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