THE SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS) DIALOGUES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Talks for a sustainable blue and green economy

THE SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS) DIALOGUES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

21–25 Novembre 2022
Il corso è disponibile in English
Presentazione del corso

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a heterogeneous group of states grouped in three regions: the Caribbean, the Pacific and Africa, the Indian Ocean and South Pacific region. Despite their diversity, SIDS' small size and geographic isolation underpin their unifying trait: extreme vulnerability to environmental and economic shocks, as well as great resilience and unity of vision in engaging globally towards sustainable development.

The economies of SIDS are characterized by a strong dependence on global partners through trade, tourism, remittance and concessional financing. Their growth and development is often further blocked by high transportation and communication costs, disproportionately expensive infrastructure due to their small size, and little or no opportunity to create economies of scale. Consequently, SIDS have suffered more from the financial crisis in 2008 than most other developing countries, and the COVID-19 crises has exacerbated their economic vulnerability, making it even more difficult for SIDS to achieve sustained economic growth and provide decent work to their people.

In addition, small islands are so-called hotspots of climate change. Here, the adverse effects of sea-level rise, increasing temperatures, and extreme weather events are already felt, making adaptation urgent.

To achieve sustainable development, SIDS have built their resilience to external shocks and are adopting development strategies that deliver economic growth, diversification and decent work. The blue economy can catalyse this process, bringing wealth and jobs to island communities while restoring ocean and inland ecosystems.

The blue economy approach offers small islands the opportunity to break their dependence on a narrow range of goods and services, predominantly tourism, fisheries and agriculture, and to expand into new blue growth sectors, including marine biotechnology, aquaculture and ocean renewable energy.

However, realizing the full potential of the blue economy requires securing investment and finance; an appropriately skilled workforce; and the effective inclusion of all societal groups, including marginalized and underrepresented ones.

The SIDS Dialogues aim to flag out opportunities and reinforce the existing network across SIDS, that have long been stewards of vast ocean spaces, and provide a space for them to share, scale up and replicate national and regional experiences of blue economy and related services.

Chi si iscrive a questo corso?

The Forum targets professionals supporting or interested in supporting the blue and green economy in SIDS. The Forum specifically targets: - Government officials operating at the local, provincial and national level; - Trade unions and employers' organizations; - ILO and UN staff; - Development organizations; - Donor organizations; - Research and education institutions ; - Universities

Methodology

The SIDS Dialogues will be held online from 21 to 25 November 2022. Each day participants will have access to two live online sessions of 90 minutes each and have access to asynchronous activities participants complete either individually or in groups.

Online webinar sessions are highly participatory, featuring activities designed to foster peer-to-peer interaction and collaborative learning. Webinars will take place at 8:00pm-11:30pm CET, corresponding to 3:00pm-6:30pm AST and 7:00am-11:30am FJT (of the following day).

Training content is made available on the ITCILO e-learning platform, the eCampus. This will feature webinar links and recordings, preliminary or supplementary readings, slides and other training materials and discussion forum.

Learning aims
  • Share experiences on how different countries and organizations are using technologies to boost decent employment creation
  • Examine specific challenges brought about by new technologies as well as possible solutions
  • Learn about the potential of how digital technologies can support public infrastructure investments to increase their effectiveness, achieving their employment and asset creation objectives
  • Explore how digital technologies and e-governance can enhance the impact of institutional public policies addressing informality
Contents

The SIDS Dialogues cover the following topics:

  • Day 1: Small Islands States, Large Oceans: Taking Stock and Looking Forward
    Facing a future whose only certainty is change, SIDS are confronted with many problems and difficulties – some intrinsic and timeless, others extrinsic and new – in making progress towards sustainable development. However, small island societies have a record of thriving in challenging times. As Large Ocean States and custodians of 19.1 percent of the world’s Exclusive Economic Zones, SIDS can reimagine their development strategies in more sustainable and diverse forms. The first day of the SIDS Dialogues will provide an overview of SIDS’ unique features that make them a “special case for development” and will examine opportunities that SIDS have to advance the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
  • Day 2: Leveraging digital in SIDS: Preparing a Workforce for the New Blue Economy
    The transition from the “old” blue economy—one that unfortunately still relies too heavily on oil and gas, overfishing, and unsustainable tourism—to a new economy, one that is both sustainable and built on data, information, and knowledge, requires a major transition for technology, talent, and skills too. Skills are also crucial to enable economies and businesses, workers and entrepreneurs to adapt rapidly to changes deriving from climate change and environmental policies. This session will provide an overview of the state-of-the-art and needs in digitalization skills in SIDS and present examples of skills development initiatives supporting the blue economy.
  • Day 3: Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Nature-Based Solutions as pillars of SIDS Blue Economy
    Creating an infrastructure to support the blue economy is critical to its success. As the coastal areas are generally disaster-prone, the infrastructure in these areas needs to be climate-resilient to reduce vulnerability to hazards. Also nature-based solutions can help to restore natural ecosystems and reduce disaster risks, while at the same time creating job opportunities at the local community level.  This session will present examples of climate-resilient infrastructures in SIDS, as well as initiatives protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs and mangrove restoration
  • Day 4: Towards an Inclusive Blue Economy in SIDS
    A sustainable blue economy needs to tackle the poverty, inequality, and exclusion that constrain both growth and environmental sustainability, making sure that no one is left behind. Without this integrated approach, stand-alone green or blue growth projects and investments will not lead to real transformation. However, exclusion issues persist. For instance, while it is almost exclusively men out on the water, women are key players in the fishing value chain particularly when it comes to processing. Yet they are often marginalized from decision making and resource management processes. Similarly, in the context of coastal and marine ecosystems, indigenous peoples are often underrepresented and excluded from decision-making processes. This session will be an opportunity to discuss existing inclusion challenges and explore best practices on policies reconciling the transition to the blue economy with an inclusive job-rich growth.
  • Day 5: Financing the Blue Economy in Small Islands
    Pursuing the blue economy requires access to affordable long-term financing at scale, yet small islands have thus far experienced limited success in catalysing public and private investments in the blue economy at scale. Immediate financial constraints include a lack of fiscal space, and stagnant or declining flows of both official development assistance and foreign direct investment. Day 5 will provide an overview of current trends in financing the blue economy, focusing on new source of funding (including off shore gas and oil), concessional loans, SDG SIDS Global Funds, innovative financing and others.

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