Third United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States: UNESCO Events

Third United Nations Conference on Small Island Developing States will take place in Apia, Samoa, on 1-4 September 2014.
UNESCO will be represented by the Director General, Irina Bokova, who will make an official statement during the plenary on the 1st day.  
UNESCO is lead organiser of 2 side events:

UNESCO is also contributing to targeted side events and parallel events, and participating in the partnership dialogues.

A photo exhibition organized in partnership with Magnum photos illustrates the challenges addressed by targeted UNESCO projects in SIDS.

Coping with and adapting to ocean threats for resilient SIDS communities

1 September 2014, 17:00-18:30 - Side event
Lead Organizers: IOC-UNESCO, with support from Governments of Papua-New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Palau, Barbados , SPREP

SIDS are large oceanic states that live in general harmony with the ocean, providing livelihood to communities that reside on the coast where economic and social activities are usually the greatest. SIDS have characteristics which make them especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, extreme events such as Tsunami. Ocean acidification is also impacting marine ecosystems and the resource base that communities rely on for their livelihoods. Much can be done to reduce disaster risk and threats by proactively reducing communities’ exposure and vulnerability to harm. Building on the work of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and partners, this event will address how science and observation can improve the use of warnings and early warnings system and guide the development of coastal adaptation measures in SIDS, discuss common strategies for reducing vulnerability to these type of risks; and identify successful mitigation measures in protecting people whilst building ecosystem resilience.

Promoting Career Prospects of Young People in the Sciences including the Water Sector as a Means of Ensuring Sustainable Development in SIDS

2 September 2014, 11:00-12:30 - Side event
Lead Organizers: Government of Seychelles with support of UNESCO

Greater investment of SIDS countries in STEM education and more exposure of young people to careers and opportunities in the sciences will be instrumental in sustainably addressing the priority issues of SIDS such as: preventing biodiversity loss and ensuring environmental sustainability, fostering sustainable management of freshwater and oceans and encouraging sustainable energy use.

The decrease in the interest and enrollment of young people has major implications for science–society relations. Sound education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) improves the employability of young people and economic competitiveness, productivity and growth of countries. The side event will explore career options in different fields of science and their practical applications in SIDS-critical areas such as the water sector. It provides an opportunity for UNESCO to connect some of its young scientist networks to be involved in issues that they are passionate about at the global level. It will also showcase the organization’s efforts to encourage women in science.

Intangible Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

2 September 2014, 9:00-17:00 - Parallel event at the Samoa Development Bank Conference Room
Lead Organizers: Government of Samoa, through the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC), with support of UNESCO

The survival of SIDS is firmly rooted in their human resources and cultural heritage, which are their most significant assets. The objective of this Parallel Event is to share information on progress in safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in SIDS, and discuss a strategy and priority actions for the post-SIDS Conference period. The Event will bring together government officials, experts, ICH custodians and community representatives, as well as partners for ICH safeguarding.

Culture and Development - Heritage and Creativity in SIDS

3 September 2014, 11:00-12:30
Lead Organizers: Pacific Heritage Hub (PHH) at University of the South Pacific (USP) in cooperation with UNESCO

The objective of this Side Event is to highlight the socio-economic contributions of heritage and creativity, two important pillars of the culture sector, to the sustainable development of SIDS based on the  relevant paragraphs of the SAMOA Pathway Draft Outcome Document. PHH was established in February 2013 at the University of the South Pacific (USP) at the request of UNESCO Member States in the Pacific. PHH is a regional facility by and for the Pacific people. The main areas of its activities are knowledge management, capacity building and partnership development for the heritage management in the Pacific.

Enhancing Island Resilience Through Education for Sustainable Development

3 September 2014, 15:00-16:30
Lead Organizers: UNESCO in partnership with the Governments of the Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Cook Islands and Japan

This side event will highlight Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a sound investment in education in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). ESD empowers everyone to make informed decisions to support environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society for present and future generations, while respecting cultural diversity. Among other examples, the side event will present UNESCO Biosphere Reserves as learning laboratories for sustainable development and successful cases of ESD in action as real life learning sites. At the end of the event, recommendations for implementing the Global Action Programme on ESD in SIDS will be developed. These recommendations will be presented at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in November 2014 in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan.

Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) and SIDS

3 September 2014, 09:00-17:00, parallel event at the Samoa Development Bank Conference Room
Lead Organizer: UNESCO

Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) has a particularly great importance and potential for SIDS, since they share the strong cultural connection to the sea and their vast sea territories containing UCH. Besides its scientific value, UCH represents a substantial stake in the development of the tourism industry that could benefit SIDS. However, many UCH sites are threatened by treasure hunting and industrial operations. This Event organized by UNESCO will bring together government officials, underwater archaeologists, representatives of the dive community, museum managers, and other stakeholders in order to discuss challenges and opportunities faced by SIDS in the UCH management for sustainable development.

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