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Participation Programme and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS)

A success story of the Natural Sciences Sector Participation Programme

Participation Programme and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS)

The Participation Programme provided direct assistance to initiatives undertaken by SIDS Member States and Associate Members, in line with priorities determined by the countries themselves and the Approved Programme and Budget for the Organization.

With regard to the Organization as a whole, during the 2004-2005 biennium, over US$3.7 million was made available to more than 200 projects in SIDS, while during the 2006-2007 biennium over US$2.6 million was made available to 131 national projects in 31 SIDS and Associate Member States in oceanic regions worldwide. During the 2008-2009 biennium, over US$3.5 million was allocated to 174 national and regional projects in 31 SIDS and Associate Member States. As an ensemble, Participation Programme projects address many topics in the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.

Within the Natural Sciences Sector, the Sandwatch initiative provides one example of how the Participation Programme contributes to the reinforcement of activities undertaken within the regular programme. Sandwatch is a UNESCO educational tool through which students, with the help of their teachers and other community members, develop an understanding of the fragile nature of their marine and coastal environment. The project was initiated in 2001 and is currently active in more than 40 countries, including 20 SIDS in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific regions. The expansion and success of the initiative is partly due to the support provided by the projects implemented through the Participation Programme.


In many cases, Participation Programme projects have made it possible to undertake on-the-ground Sandwatch activities, including in remote locations. For example, the Participation Programme request “Sandwatch program for Schools” submitted by the Cook Islands in 2004 received a total of US$30,995 for the introduction of Sandwatch activities to teachers, school students and parents across the Cook Islands archipelago.

During the biennium (2008-2009), approved projects from Saint Kitts and Nevis as well as Saint Lucia, were implementing activities that are in line with the UNESCO’s Sandwatch and Youth Visioning projects. The outcome of these projects will further extend the complementary relationship between the Participation Programme and UNESCO’s related activities.


Related links:
::  Brochure "The Natural Sciences Sector and the Participation Programme - Responding to local needs" [.pdf]

  • Source:UNESCO SC
  • 14-04-2010
  • © Sandwatch website - 
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