Over 115 countries and members of the international development community attended the landmark Third International Conference on Small Island Developming States (SIDS) in Apia, Samoa, from 1-4 September 2014. Here are three reasons the Caribbean should celebrate from a Climate Change perspective:
The 115 countries attending the Conference adopted the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (Samoa) Pathway and noted that climate change represents the gravest threat to survival and viability of small island states. It underscores that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, with a view to accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions
The Samoa Pathway calls for support for the efforts of small island developing States:
(a) To build resilience to the impacts of climate change and to improve their adaptive capacity through the design and implementation of climate change adaptation measures appropriate to their respective vulnerabilities and economic, environmental and social situations;
(b) To improve the baseline monitoring of island systems and the downscaling of climate model projections to enable better projections of the future impacts on small islands;
(c) To raise awareness and communicate climate change risks, including through public dialogue with local communities, to increase human and environmental resilience to the longer-term impacts of climate change;
(d) To address remaining gaps in capacity for gaining access to and managing climate finance.
The Statute Establishing SIDS DOCK was signed by 20 countries in Apia.
SIDS DOCK is a Caribbean-based (Belmopan, Belize – with a Pacific office in Somoa) SIDS–SIDS institutional mechanism established to facilitate the development of a sustainable energy economy within the small islands and low lying developing states. The historic signing of the statue establishing this mechanism reflects the strong commitment of SIDS leaders that they have and will take responsibility for charting the future of their countries towards a path that would see a total transformation of the SIDS economy away from fossil fuels, to that of one driven by low carbon technologies. As a group of countries that spend an inordinate amount of their limited foreign exchange on the importation of fossil fuels, this commitment augers well for their energy independence.
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The Region’s achievements were shared.
The Centre participated in a number of side events that addressed South-South cooperation, the possibilities in a blue economy, the launch of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report – what’s in it for SIDS, and the scaling up of the Climate Resilient Islands Partnership. Throughout these representations the Centre was able to share its wide-ranging work across the region and its views for increased partnership.