Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2020. 3:39 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: On May 14, the Government of Belize participated in a virtual conference where Small Island Developing States Dock (SIDS DOCK) Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Organization signed an agreement with GRID-Arendal to collaborate on the promotion of nature-based solutions and technologies for the sustainable use and management of marine resources to support the economic and livelihoods systems of populations of small island and low-lying developing countries.
The strategic partnership for sustainable use and management of marine resources in small islands and low-lying developing countries projects will support the economic and livelihoods systems of the populations and promote nature-based solutions and technologies
The signing ceremony took place on Thursday, 14 May 2020, by means of a virtual conference between representatives in New York City and Norway, as a way to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
In signing on behalf of SIDS DOCK, Ronald J. Jumeau, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Seychelles to the United Nations (UN) and Chair of the SIDS DOCK Executive Council, welcomed the partnership and commended GRID-Arendal for its strong support, noting that it has been a reliable and supportive partner since 2014.
“This SIDS DOCK/GRIDArendal partnership will provide us with a framework for cooperation to accelerate the synergistic deployment and monitoring of nature-based solutions to the challenges of ocean environmental management, rehabilitation of ecosystems, and the development of ocean-based renewable energy technologies in our SIDS DOCK Member Countries, and will also allow us to learn many lessons from Norway, as it too tries to achieve a low-carbon society,” he said, after affixing his signature to the agreement.
Dr. Peter Harris, Managing Director of GRID-Arendal, welcomes the strengthened cooperation with SIDS DOCK.
“For over thirty years, GRID-Arendal has worked with partners around the globe to address the most pressing environmental challenges of our time. This partnership gives us the opportunity to develop practical solutions for countries and communities experiencing some of the most immediate consequences of environmental change, from climate change to plastic pollution. GRID-Arendal was honored to be present at the United Nations when the SIDS DOCK Treaty came into force in 2015 and looks forward to supporting its mission for a sustainable and resilient future.”
The agreement provides support to SIDS DOCK for:
While relatively small in landmass, small island developing states govern over and serve as the “Blue Guardians” of their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), vast ocean territories extending up to 200 nautical miles from their coastlines.
“These ocean areas are vital “blue carbon” sinks that also help mitigate global climate change. SIDS DOCK now moves forward with a bold plan of action with its member nations in the Caribbean, Pacific and Atlantic and Indian Ocean (AIO) regions through this urgently needed initiative to address climate change threats to their survival. Oceans and coasts play a disproportionately large role in the lives and livelihoods of island populations,” a statement from the organization said.
Managing, monitoring, and protecting these EEZs, however, has proven financially and technically challenging for SIDS.
The impacts of climate change exacerbate the existing socio-economic and environmental vulnerabilities in these countries.
Harnessing the nature-based climate mitigation and adaptation values of coastal and marine ecosystems can help SIDS to effectively address and manage climate impacts, while supporting coastal communities through the wide range of ecosystem benefits these ecosystems provide.
Such an approach, supported by access to technical information and data infrastructure capacity building will allow SIDS to adapt and build resilience to climate change and sustainably manage their interconnected “Ridge-to-Reef” terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems.
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