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by Agnes M. Abrau

Representatives from the government, non-governmental organizations and the youth from various island countries such as Cook Islands, Seychelles, St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, San Andres Archipelago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Palau discussed their respective concerns on environment and other development issues during the five-day Small Islands Voice Inter-regional workshop held at the Palau International Coral Reef Center Auditorium. The workshop ended November 22.

It was initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization which formed it to help small islands in the Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, to confront their concerns and discuss their specific issues and how they can contribute and benefit from them, despite their 'smallness' and isolation.

Dirk Troost, UNESCO representative, said the workshop brought together various representatives from the small islands to promote interaction and direct linkages through workshop and openness to 'broaden their decision-making processes'.

'There is a need to turn talk into action', Troost, a co-drafter of the Small Islands Voice Inter-regional workshop, said.

Troost added that the concerns and issues, which were raised during the workshop will be compiled and reviewed during the 2004 Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States. This, in turn, will be channelled back to the local level for specific action.

Nearly 30 representatives from Palau and the small islands in the Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean attended the workshop. The representatives also presented on videos their respective island's profiles and their goals on sustainable development.

Discussions followed every presentation. The six small island nations are not only geographically small and relatively isolated, they also possess a common factor - each depends much on tourism for revenues.

The foreign representatives were also given an opportunity to see the road construction in Babeldaob and discuss new development with state representatives and local communities.

Palau Horizon, November 22, 2002


To get involved, contact :


National Co-ordinator
Mr Joe Chilton
Palau Community College
PO Box 9
Koror, 96940
Republic of Palau
T: + 680 488 2470
F: + 680 488 6563

Ms. Tiare Holm
Palau Conservation Society
P.O. Box 1811,
Koror, 96940
Republic of Palau
T: ++ 680 488 3993
F: ++ 680 488 3990

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