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Delegates at Caribbean meeting to review the Mauritius StrategyFor MediaGlobal, Allyn Gaestel reports on the Caribbean Regional Meeting held last month in Grenada to review implementation of the Mauritius Strategy, and discusses the ways in which Caribbean small island states can turn their vulnerabilities into strengths in the international sustainable development arena.

The Caribbean states met in Grenada on 18 March to review five years of implementation of the Mauritius Strategy program of action for the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Small Island Developing States face numerous unique challenges. They are vulnerable due to their size, and as islands they are experiencing climate change more quickly and visibly than other nations. Many also are dependent on foreign aid and markets for their financial growth, which makes them vulnerable to fluctuations in the global economy.

Yet these vulnerabilities can also be leveraged as strength with the use of the right tools and framing…

Climate change is one example of the dual vulnerability and opportunity for SIDS. SIDS are already experiencing the effect of climate change, and they have mobilized to bring attention to the gravity of this issue on a global scale. But they are also strong candidates for climate change programs because small amounts of investment can go a long way in improving their position. As [Lakshmi Puri, the director of the UN office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and SIDS] said, “One drop of aid can make an ocean of difference.” She continued, “The smallness can be an advantage as much as it is a vulnerability factor and [they can] become laboratories of green development, green growth, green production, [and] green energy.”

Read the entire article at MediaGlobal.

The Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island States was formulated in 2005 in Port Louis, Mauritius, and sets goals related to, among other issues, climate change, waste management, biodiversity preservation, forest management, and renewable energy development. You can see the full text of the Mauritius Strategy here [PDF]. A 5-year review of the Mauritius Strategy is currently underway.

[Photo: mediaglobal.org/UN-OHRLLS]

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