U N E S C O
Mauritius Strategy Implementation
Islands Voice Planning Meeting
For six days at the beginning of July 2005, representatives from thirteen small islands scattered around the globe, met in Bequia, one of the outer islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to share sustainable development experiences and to plan future activities for Small Islands Voice within the overall framework of the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. As mentioned by speakers at the opening ceremony, Bequia is not unspoilt, nor has it yet achieved the goal of sustainable development, however, it represents a model of sustainable island lifestyles whereby islanders are thinking, caring and planning for the future of their island.
Rather than concentrating on sustainable development as an end-product or goal, many of the participants focused on a concept of sustainable island living, whereby an island or community displays a way of thinking and caring about their island and how they want to see it develop in the future.
Despite attempts by Tropical Storm Emily to disrupt plans (this storm passed over St. Vincent and the Grenadines on 13 July 2005), the meeting was successful and all the objectives were achieved. Although the roof of the meeting venue was damaged, participants reconvened in a hotel room to continue the meeting.
Future Framework for Small Islands Voice
Building on discussions during and after the meeting, a future framework for Small Islands Voice emerged; this has two major components: (i) Fostering sustainable island living through specific activities on the ground; and (ii) Spreading the word so that the impact of the collective effort becomes more than just the sum of individual work. (It is anticipated that many of the ongoing activities will also continue).
Sustainable island living activities include:
Activities relating to 'Spreading the word' include:
 Photo credits ‘The Ins and Outs of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’, Official publication of the Hotels and Tourism Association 2004