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Tuesday 22 October 2019
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Success for Small Island States

Camille Robinson-Regis.
Camille Robinson-Regis.

WHILE TT and the entire Caribbean are experiencing one of the harshest dry seasons on record, Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said there is hope to ease up some of the effects of global climate change with the adoption of the SAMOA Pathway in 2014

The SAMOA (SIDS (Small Island Developing States) Accelerated Modalities of Action (S.A.M.O.A) Pathway as it is known is an international framework that was developed in 2014 with the overarching theme aimed at sustainably developing these countries through partnerships and identifying priorities for those islands.

Robinson-Regis said since the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway, many SIDS have experienced varying degrees of success in the implementation of local sustainable development goals (SDG) agendas.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day session of the Learning Conference Implementing the 2030 Agenda in the Caribbean Region held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre in St Ann's, Port of Spain, last week Robinson-Regis said an examination of the most recent human development index indicates four SIDS ranked very high.

“These countries include Singapore, Bahrain, Bahamas and Barbados. Twenty are high, seven are medium and five SIDS are in the low human development group.

“The UN Secretary General’s analysis laments that, 'Despite this ranking, data gathered on socio-economic progress remains uneven for many SIDS. Important social indicators point to social fissures, revealing high levels of unemployment, substantial incidences of poverty, high rates of crime, and persistent income inequality.'”

Robinson-Regis said children and adolescents remain “over-represented” in the poor population and are more vulnerable to the consequences of poverty and inequality.

She said while the climate outlook for SIDS differs considerably depending on their topography and location, local and regional meteorological changes associated with global climate change are already having significant impacts and are unlikely to abate.

“The simple fact is that progress made towards sustainable development and poverty eradication have been put at risk by impacts such as increasing sea levels, extreme weather events, droughts, coastal erosion, flooding, salt-water intrusion, coral bleaching, ecosystem destruction and ocean acidification.

“All of which intensify the vulnerability of most SIDS and place undue pressure on virtually all sectors of development, including tourism, financial services, agriculture, fisheries, water supply, sanitation, infrastructure and ecosystem health.”

Robinson-Regis said TT and the entire Caribbean are experiencing one of the harshest dry seasons on record, and this follows an equally unusually active and destructive 2018 hurricane season.

“Sharing of our stories of resilience, stories of success and of hope, our stories of failures and challenges, as we seek to distil from each other, what works and what doesn’t.

“As we share with each other, we will move from our insular interests to the shared purpose to which we ascribe, in the sure and certain hope that together, we will not only be our brother’s keeper, but together, we will survive.”

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