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Small Islands Voice, an inter-regional initiative what brings together islanders from the Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean regions to find out their concerns regarding environment and development issues, will hold a workshop here in Koror from November 18-22. The workshop is supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Concerns and issues gathered during the workshop will be compiled to contribute to the review of the Program of Action for Small Island Developing States (2004), and will also be channelled back to the local level for action on the ground. The initiative hopes that the increased debate and openness will encourage small islands to broaden their decision-making processes.

Activities have commenced in Palau and Cook Islands in the Pacific; Seychelles in the Indian Ocean; and St. Kitts and Nevis and Bequia (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) in the Caribbean. These include opinion surveys, meetings, and Internet-based discussions, among others, all designed to find out people's views and concerns.

The workshop will bring together representatives from government, non-governmental organizations and youth on these islands: to promote direct interaction and linkages between island countries in the three regions (Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean); discuss and further advance specific activities for Small Islands Voice, nationally, regionally and inter-regionally; start discussions on specific issues emerging from Small Islands Voice, which can be presented to the 2004 review of the Program of Action for Small Island Developing States.

For the first time, representatives from the islands directly involved in Small Islands Voice, will have the opportunity to learn about lifestyles and people in the different regions, and to exchange information both formally and informally.

On Wednesday, November 20th, participants will see the road construction in Babeldoab and discuss the new development with state representatives and communities.

There will be an interactive session on the morning of 21st November exploring ways in which the media (print, radio, television and Internet providers) can participate in Small Islands Voice. On the afternoon of the same day, other organizations in Palau will be invited to discuss their programs and how they can assist with the goals of Small Islands Voice.

Discussions will continue throughout the week on how to ensure that the voice of the general public becomes a true and sustainable catalyst for action in the development of small islands.

Tia Belau, 17-23 November, 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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