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Small Islands Voice at the Oceans, Coasts and Islands Conference, 12-14 November 2003

The major purpose of the Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands was to review what has been done to date in implementing the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) commitments and catalyse action on WSSD implementation through collaboration among governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Among specific aims, the conference sought to analyse the needs of small island developing states (SIDS), especially in relation to the forthcoming review of progress achieved in SIDS since the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action, to be held in Mauritius in August 2004. The conference was organised by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts and Islands.

In view of the special focus of this conference on islands, three partners from Small Islands Voice territories were invited to participate and give presentations on Small Islands Voice activities in their countries and regions. Mr. Herman Belmar, represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Caribbean region and gave a powerpoint presentation and presented a paper on 'Caribbean islanders' efforts to save their environment with emphasis on the youth of Bequia.' Mr. Pynee Chellapermal from Mauritius represented the Indian Ocean when he gave his presentation on 'Civil society's concerns and inputs to 2004'. Ms. Tiare Holm represented Palau and the Pacific region and gave a powerpoint presentation on 'The general public's perspective on issues and inputs to Mauritius 2004'. These presentations provided a snapshot of some of the Small Islands Voice activities, ranging from young islanders involvement in environment and development activities, to issues and priorities identified by civil society, and including a visioning process whereby communities are taking a lead role in planning their own development.

Small Islands Voice partners make presentations at the Oceans, Coasts and Islands conference, November 2003. (From left to right: Mr. Herman Belmar from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Pynee Chellapermal from Mauritius, Ms. Tiare Holm from Palau).

During a pre-conference side event on 11th November 2003, a workshop was held on 'Small Islands and Mauritius 2004', sponsored by Small Islands Voice, and chaired by Dirk Troost and Claire Green. During this workshop, Herman Belmar, Pynee Chellapermal and Tiare Holm outlined some of their Small Islands Voice activities in their respective countries, while Gillian Cambers described some of the inter-regional activities in a presentation entitled 'Targeted capacity building through Small Islands Voice'. At the same pre-conference workshop, Mr. Arthur Dahl gave a presentation on the Global Islands Network, and Ms. Sherry Heileman described the Global Environment Outlook Project, an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme.


To get involved, contact :


Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform
UNESCO, Paris, France
fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08

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