Government Represented At SIDS Conference

August 29, 2013

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Planning Dr. Derrick Binns is currently in Bridgetown, Barbados participating in The Small Island Developing States [SIDS] Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting [IPM].

The purpose of the meeting is to bring together the three regions of SIDS – Latin America and Caribbean; the Pacific; and AIMS [Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and South China Sea] to prepare for the Third International Conference of Small Island Developing States, to be held in Samoa in September, 2014.

The 2014 conference has been called to discuss progress and understand gaps in the implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action [1994] and the Mauritius Implementation Strategy [2005] with regards to the sustainability of SIDS and will focus the world’s attention on SIDS, such as Bermuda, which remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities.

Preparatory meetings for the 2014 Conference have been taking place throughout 2013 and have been national, regional and inter-regional in nature.

Dr. Binns had the following to say about Bermuda’s participation in the Barbados IPM, which has been entirely funded by the United Nations, “There is great value in attending regional and international meetings such as these which give us a voice on issues that will ultimately impact us.

“We recognize that the issues that we face are not unique to us. Other SIDS have the same challenges as us regarding debt, energy security, climate change, youth, labour, etc. and to be able to discuss these issues and produce ideas and solutions in formats such as these is simply invaluable.

“There is also tremendous interest among other SIDS in both the Blue Economy and the Green Economy, as there is here in Bermuda. In fact, Bermuda’s efforts to protect the seas around us are consistent with objectives of the SIDS.

“Our Ministry’s efforts to create a new Agriculture Strategy, to protect our environment, to address climate change, are all critical efforts that we must continue in an effort to make us sustainable.”

During the meetings this week UN Under-Secretary-General Rebecca Grynspan outlined that waste, climate change, pollution, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and biodiversity loss were growing threats to food security, sustainable livelihoods, growth opportunities, tourism and health with regards to SIDS. She said that these are issues that, in most cases, SIDS have done very little to cause and that next year’s SIDS conference set out a clear plan action to address these issues.

She also said that supporting the Blue Economy could help SIDS carve out a niche in the global economy, while protecting and harvesting the oceans to develop fisheries, build tourism and industry and identify new resources.

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