Voice Side Events at the UN SIDS Meeting, Mauritius
United Nations meeting on Small Island Developing States, held
in Mauritius from 10-14 January 2005, a series of four Small Islands
Voice side events were held featuring different aspects of the
initiative. These included community visioning, documentation
of island cultures and traditions, eco-friendly practices, and
the use of internet forums to promote exchange between the regions.
These side events were held at the Community Vilaj in Freeport.
The programme of side events
ran from 9-12th January, 2005.
Island memories - Preserving and promoting island cultures
Ms Nancy Kareroa
and Ms. Melinda Pierre, two youth representatives from the Cook
Islands, presented excerpts from a recently prepared video on
Mauke Memories which
sets out to document legends, stories and lifestyles from the
past as well as providing a sense of place and what living in
Mauke is like for its inhabitants. This is the first in what is
planned to be a series of videos featuring the inhabited islands
of the Cooks.
Melinda Pierre introducing the project
Nancy Kareroa describing the making of
Connecting islands via the internet
side event, Mr. Herman Belmar described how young people in St.
Vincent and the Grenadines were using the Small Islands Voice
Youth Internet Forum (SIV-YF) to discuss issues and activities
with youth in other small islands around the world. He described
how youth from the Bequia Community High School had started the
forum off with a thought-provoking
article covering aspects of small island life ranging from
whaling to the inadequacies of the local hospital.
Mr. Herman Belmar discussing the SIV
Sookdeo Bissoondoyal Sixth Form College in Mauritius described
how participating in the forum had inspired them to carry out
a survey on what were the most pressing problems facing people
living in Mauritius. They had then embarked on a project called
'Changing your mindset'.
Students from Sookdeo Bissoondoyal Sixth
Form College describing their project 'Changing your mindset'
Alain De Comarmond from the Seychelles, described how the SIV-YF
had inspired students at Praslin Secondary School to go beyond
talking over the internet with their counterparts in the Maldives,
and instead to initiate an exchange
visit and a joint project 'Zero
tolerance for littering'
Mr. Alain De Comarmond describing the
exchange visit with the Maldives
Eco-friendly practices for sustainable living in small islands
eco-friendly practices discussed in this session was a glass-recycling
project, presented by Ms Nekesha Gordon, a youth representative
from Bequia in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where young people
are recycling glass to make park benches; and a Sandwatch
project presented by Mr. Andy Paul of Trinidad and Tobago,
where young people are working with their communities to monitor
and enhance their beaches.
Nekesha Gordon (right) being interviewed
by the media in Mauritius
Community visioning in small islands
Ms Tiare Holm
described a community
visioning project in Palau where communities are visioning
how they want their communities in ten years time and then working
to make those visions happen. She described how Palau had learnt
from similar efforts in other islands such as Molokai and Pohnpei
and how they were building a dedicated team with strong facilitation
skills. Again at the community level, Mr. Pynee Chellapermal described
how in Mauritius they were trying to relate climate change to
everyday life, and to try and change people's mindsets regarding
the use (waste) of electricity and the disposal of domestic waste.
Their project had showed that families could make significant
economic savings through energy conservation practices.
Tiare Holm beginning her presentation
Pynee Chellapermal standing in front
on the project's energy saving poster written in Creole