AOSIS’ Strategy for the Further Implementation of the BPOA

2004-01-26 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Sustainable Development

AOSIS Strategy for the Further Implementation of the BPOA
1. The Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) provides a blueprint for Small Island
Developing States (SIDS) and the international community to address national
sustainable development in SIDS that takes into account the economic, social and
environmental aspects that are the pillars of the holistic and integrated approach to
sustainable development. The BPOA sets out basic principles as well as specific actions
that are required at the national, regional and international levels to support sustainable
development in SIDS.
2. SIDS acknowledge that sustainable development is primarily a national responsibility,
but also that for SIDS to succeed, given their acknowledged vulnerabilities, the principle
of common but differentiated responsibilities must be given specific expression for SIDS
by the international community. Furthermore, there is a need for strengthened
cooperation and partnership at the national, regional and international levels. Such
partnership should be broad-based and ensure involvement and participation of all
stakeholders including civil society and the private sector.
3. SIDS have demonstrated their commitment to sustainable development by bearing the
brunt of the cost of implementing the BPOA while at the same time meeting their
increasing obligations under international agreements. While the international community
has provided financing and technical assistance in sectors that were fairly new in 1994
(climate change, persistent organic pollutants) overall ODA to SIDS has declined by over
50% between 1994 and 2004. Furthermore, an analysis of the reports shows an increase
in ad hoc stand-alone projects, rather than a programmed or strategic approach.
4. The review of the BPOA has provided SIDS with a valuable opportunity to measure
progress in implementing its objectives. National assessment reports have been prepared,
which in turn have informed the preparation of Regional Synthesis Reports. These
documents, together with the BPOA, form the basis of the Strategy document and should
be read along with this document in order to fully appreciate the work needed to ensure
further progress.
5. SIDS are committed to eradicating poverty and improving the livelihoods of their
peoples by the implementation of strategies which build resilience and capacity to
address their uniquely disproportionate vulnerabilities. This can be facilitated by a
multilateral framework that is more responsive to the particular needs of SIDS.
6. There is an urgent need for greater democracy, transparency and inclusiveness in the
international financial and economic system to allow for the effective participation of
SIDS in international financial decision-making processes and institutions, and in the
process of setting international rules, codes, norms and standards.
7. Good governance at all levels that addresses, inter alia, economic, social and
environmental security is essential for achieving sustainable development and for
building resilience.
8. The current emphasis on security has resulted in the diversion of resources from the
sustainable development agenda. Security must be viewed in a multi-dimensional
fashion, including threats such as natural disasters, food security, water security,
incidence of HIV/AIDS, narco-trafficking, illegal trade in small arms. There is a need for
more international cooperation and technical and financial support to SIDS to face these
threats, as the new obligations create particular difficulties for all SIDS, particularly those
with large coastal areas and the archipelagic SIDS.
9. South-South cooperation is critical at the bilateral, sub regional and regional levels in
strategic areas, such as information and communication technology, trade, investment,
capacity building, disaster management, environment, food, agriculture, water, energy,
health and education.

10. There is a need to avoid any unilateral measure not in accordance with
international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impedes the full
achievement of economic and social development by the population of the affected
countries, in particular women and children, that hinders their well-being or that
creates obstacles to the full enjoyment of their human rights, including the right of
everyone to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being and their
right to food, medical care and the necessary social services.
11. SIDS acknowledge the role of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the
UN Secretariat, through the Division for Sustainable Development and its Small Island
Developing States Unit, in undertaking activities in both the preparatory processes and
the International Meeting to enhance coordination and cooperation within the United
Nations system, as well as with other relevant multilateral organizations, to ensure the
effective implementation, monitoring and follow-up to the outcomes of the ten-year
review of the Programme of Action. Similarly, SIDS acknowledge the role of the Office
of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing
Countries and Small Island Developing States and look forward to its fulfilling its
mandate to advocate strongly, in partnership with the relevant parts of the United Nations
as well as with major groups, media, academia and foundations, for the mobilization of
international support and resources for the successful outcome of the International
Meeting, and for the follow-up to the outcomes of the ten-year review of the Programme
of Action.
12. Experience has reaffirmed that sustainable development is best achieved through
adoption of integrated and holistic approaches at all levels.
13. SIDS recognize the importance of culture in their sustainable development, as it
represents the expression and identity of the people and the foundation of the richness of
our cultural diversity, traditions and customs.
14. SIDS recognize the integral role of youth in sustainable development and express the
need to further ensure their participation in programmes and activities related to
sustainable development on SIDS.
15. SIDS reaffirm the importance of gender equality and promote the equal access of
women and men to basic and higher education, to health care services, economic
opportunity and decision making systems for sustainable development.
Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise
16. The adverse effects of climate change and sea-level rise continue to threaten the
sustainable development, livelihoods and existence of SIDS. The failure of most
industrialized countries to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions means that the
vulnerability of SIDS will be increased and that adaptation to climate change continues to
be a major priority for SIDS. To this end, the international community must:
a) fully implement the UNFCCC
b) ensure the immediate ratification and entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol
c) take further urgent action to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions, including
through the development and increased use of renewable energy
d) support SIDS in the development and implementation of national climate change
action plans.
e) remove barriers to the transfer to SIDS of appropriate technology related to SIDS.
17. Financial and technical support must be provided, particularly through the GEF, for
the adoption of better adaptation strategies and action, not only for technical studies but
also for the actual implementation of those plans. The GEF must apply their rules of
access and simplify their disbursement procedures so as to take into account the special
circumstances of SIDS.

18. Regional development banks and other financial institutions must assist SIDS to
strengthen and broaden (or establish where necessary) regional and national climate
change coordination mechanisms and the links between the two.
Natural and Environmental Disasters
19. SIDS being located among the most vulnerable regions in the world to the increasing
intensity and frequency of natural and environmental disasters, face disproportionately
high economic, social and environmental consequences. The following action is therefore
a) The international community must strengthen the International Strategy for
Disaster Reduction (ISDR) as a dedicated facility to address national disaster
mitigation, preparedness and early-warning capacity, and the mainstreaming of
risk management into the national planning process.
b) The international community must use opportunities such as the 10-year review of
the Yokohama Strategy on Natural Disaster Reduction in 2005 to address the
specific issues of SIDS including the possibility to put in place appropriate
insurance and re-insurance arrangements for SIDS as they relate to natural and
environmental disasters.
c) An easily accessible international fund, to be disbursed through regional and
national structures, must be established by 2005.
d) The SIDS undertake to strengthen their respective national frameworks for more
effective disaster management.
Management of Wastes
20. While some SIDS have made significant progress in both planning and
implementation of waste management policies, programs and strategies, most countries
have serious difficulties in terms of financial and technical capacity in dealing with waste
management issues. There is a growing concern with the security and environmental
implications of the disposal and transport of radioactive materials and the lack of
adequate liability and compensation regimes. Marine debris, ballast waste and World
War II shipwrecks pose several threats to the ecological integrity of SIDS. The following
action is therefore required:
a) The international community must provide financial support by 2015 for the
development, transfer and implementation of appropriate technologies that can be
adapted by SIDS.
b) The control of the transboundary movement of hazardous waste must be
strengthened, especially through the enhancement of activities under the Basel
and Waigani Conventions. This must to include the principles of prior informed
agreement, liability and compensation, the emergency fund and support for the
regional centers.
c) The international community must assist SIDS to:
a.i. identify cost-effective and environmentally sound waste management
b.ii. explore and engage in innovative financing of waste management
c.iii. promote recycling, re-use and waste management initiatives;
d.iv. establish national environmental trust funds; and
iv. develop projects appropriate to SIDS for the use of waste as a resource,
including for the production of energy as a waste management solutions.
d) There must be regional cooperation to reduce the quantity of waste disposed of at
e) The IMO must expedite the process towards the elaboration and conclusion of a
convention on ballast water.
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f) Those nations whose naval vessels were sunk in SIDS territories during World
War II must:
a. act to ensure these vessels do not become a source of pollution; and
b. accept liability for rehabilitation in the event that pollution occurs.
g) SIDS must implement the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the
Marine Environment from Land-based Activities, as appropriate, with support
from the international community in particular UNEP, by undertaking initiatives
specifically addressing the vulnerabilities of SIDS.

h) The transportation of radioactive materials in and through the SIDS regions must
cease. Ongoing dialogue, including through the IMO, with the shipping states should
be urgently strengthened towards that end.
Coastal and Marine Resources
21. SIDS are defined by their historic, cultural and economic links to the oceans and seas.
They continue to be heavily dependent on their marine resources, particularly for the
sustainable livelihoods of coastal communities. The management of coastal and marine
resources have become integrated into broader ocean management strategies since the
entry into force of UNCLOS.
22. However, implementation of UNCLOS continues to be impeded by financial
constraints and a lack of capacity. To overcome these constraints, a financial mechanism
must be established at the international level to provide further financial assistance to
SIDS. In addition, those countries and institutions with the expertise to help must provide
SIDS with the necessary financial and technical assistance to, among other things:
a) complete the delimitation of their maritime boundaries; and
b) submit any claims to the Continental Shelf Commission by
November 2009
23. The international community must assist SIDS to:
a) strengthen, or develop where necessary, national and regional fisheries
management mechanisms
b) fully implement surveillance and monitoring systems;
c) obtain the necessary tools to analyze and assess the status of fish stocks; and
d) strengthen sustainable and responsible fisheries management.
24. Distant water fishing nations must provide SIDS with the financial and technical
support required to establish more equitable and sustainable management of resources,
and to ensure their support for the sustainable development of SIDS in general.
25. In collaboration with other states and making use of regional mechanisms, SIDS will
work to put in place integrated policies, management approaches, such as marine
protected areas, and develop national capacity to monitor, conserve and sustainably
manage coral reefs and associated ecosystems. SIDS should address as a priority the
impacts of coastal development, coastal tourism, intensive and destructive fishing
practices, pollution, as well as the unreported and illegal trade in corals, on the future
health of coral reefs. To facilitate these initiatives, the international community must
provide financial support for:
a) regional monitoring efforts and Global Ocean Observing System;
b) the strengthening, where appropriate, of networks of marine protected areas;
c) activities to address the impact of mass coral bleaching.
26. The relevant regional and international development partners must support SIDS in
the development and implementation of regional initiatives, such as the Pacific Islands
Regional Ocean Policy, the designation of the Caribbean Sea as a special area in the
context of sustainable development, the Ocean Governance Project involving all regions,
and the establishment of related initiatives in other SIDS regions.
Freshwater Resources
27. SIDS continue to face water management and water access challenges, caused in part
by deficiencies in water availability, water catchment and storage, pollution of water
resources, saline intrusion exacerbated inter alia by sea-level rise, and leakage in the
delivery system. The access to safe water, the provision of sanitation and the promotion
of hygiene are the foundations of human dignity, public health and economic and social
development and are among the priorities for SIDS.
28. SIDS in the Caribbean and the Pacific regions have demonstrated their commitment
to SIDS-SIDS cooperation with the Joint Programme for Action for Water and Climate,
launched at the 3rd World Water Forum in March 2003. The international community
must support the implementation of this programme, and the proposal to broaden it to all
SIDS regions.

29. International financial institutions, regional development banks and the private sector
must provide SIDS with financial and technical assistance to further develop, adapt and
apply new and appropriate technologies, needed to meet the commitment in MDG-7,
namely to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe
drinking water by 2015.
30. The international community must provide assistance to SIDS for capacity-building
for the development and further implementation of freshwater and sanitation
programmes, and the promotion of integrated water resources management, including
through the Global Environmental Facility focal areas and the World Water Assessment
Programme, and through support to the GPA Coordination Office. The international
community should therefore ensure full support of the global targets and initiatives
around Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
31. The WMO, supported by the international community, must continue to implement
actions to strengthen national capacity through the Hydrological Cycle Observation
System (HYCOS) proposal and recommendations regarding water quality.
Land Resources
32. The pressures on land resources that existed ten years ago have only been exacerbated
by competing uses, increased demands and land degradation.
33. The international community must assist SIDS to:
a) develop capacity to meet the various new international requirements, such as the
WTO agreement on agriculture, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures (SPS),
technical barriers to trade (TBT), and other standards and regulations,
b) strengthen land tenure and management systems
c) move from primary to tertiary agricultural production.
34. Given the recognition accorded to the special needs of SIDS at the UNCCD COP-6,
SIDS are encouraged to present proposals for funding under the UNCCD and CBD,
through the GEF. Taking into account that the GEF is the financial mechanism of both
conventions, the GEF must facilitate SIDS access to GEF financial and technical
resources to develop and implement projects to address land degradation.
35. Faced with the challenge of competitiveness, SIDS have to find opportunities to
diversify their economies and markets, especially in the agricultural sector, in order to
increase their degree of food security and self-reliance. The international community
must assist SIDS in their efforts to:
a) create an enabling environment for agricultural intensification and diversification;
b) remove production constraints and build programmes in areas such as seed
production and integrated pest management systems; and
c) enhance food processing, marketing and quality.
36. To elaborate concrete strategies to enhance efficient and sustainable agricultural
production and ensure their food security, the UN system, and the FAO in particular,
must provide practical support to SIDS, for research into such matters as: diversification
of agriculture; alternative uses for crops; improved husbandry, irrigation and water
management; aquaculture; and use of appropriate modern technologies for smallholder
agriculture, including agricultural extension services. SIDS-SIDS partnerships, as well as
partnerships with development partners, should be developed to assist cooperative efforts
towards improved techniques and diversification.
37. The 2005 FAO Conference of SIDS Ministers of Agriculture should consider
endorsing priority actions for an enhanced contribution of agriculture, forestry and
fisheries to SIDS sustainable development policies, in the light of the importance of
nutrition and food security needs to SIDS.
38. The international community must assist SIDS to:
a) Increase awareness, promotion and the adoption and enforcement of legislation to
ensure that sustainable rotational logging practices and replanting initiatives are

b) Increase stakeholder participation in all discussions and negotiations regarding
development, management, and conservation of forest and tree resources;
c) Ensure adherence to national forest policies and legislation that has been
developed to safeguard rights of resource ‘owners’ through administrative and
management mechanisms for alienation, licence or transfer of ‘traditional rights’
for commercial development purposes;
d) Develop and strengthen partnerships for sustainable forest management such as
the Iwokrama Rainforest Programme; and
e) In the area of forestry the international community must assist SIDS in their
development and implementation of action plans to reduce the deforestation rate
and promote sustainable forest management.
39. The international community must assist SIDS to improve national capacity for
policy and legislation formulation, negotiations with transnational corporations and
evaluation of mineral sector projects. This includes environmental impact assessment,
compliance, rehabilitation reclamation and environmental bonds, and compensation.
40. In the mining sector the international community must assist SIDS to:
a) establish fair and transparent compensation systems that fully compensate all
natural resource loss (including water, forest, and land resources), environmental
damage, recreational loss, and socio-cultural effects. This can be non-monetary
as well as in monetary terms;
b) progress, legislate, and manage national mineral policy frameworks and
environmental management plans;
c) facilitate institutional capacity in SIDS to deal with mining tenement issues, mine
company selection, closure, institutional weaknesses, environmental issues related
to mining and raising of land ‘owner’ awareness; and
d) develop regional mineral databases, assess and evaluate mineral and aggregate
Energy Resources
41. Energy dependence is a major source of economic vulnerability for many SIDS, and
many remote and rural SIDS communities have little or no access to modern and
affordable energy services. Modern research has produced commercially feasible options
of energy supply, such as wind, solar and ocean energy. Indeed, many SIDS are
particularly suited to these options because of their geographical location. However,
existing technologies may not be adaptable to the needs and circumstances of many SIDS
42. The international community must support the development of a comprehensive
assessment of the energy resources and the current and projected patterns of energy use,
and assist in the identification and development of renewable energy that is affordable
and readily adaptable to the special circumstances of SIDS. The international
community, including the regional development banks, must assist in this process, in
particular as regards support for technology transfer and the actual implementation of
projects for renewable energy and energy efficiency in SIDS.
43. The international community and regional organisations, and development partners
must contribute actively to the implementation of such energy policies and the promotion
of demonstration projects. In support of the target of JPOI for strengthening ongoing and
supporting new efforts on energy supply and services by 2004, the international
community must also make a renewed effort to ensure that SIDS can achieve real and
demonstrable progress in this regard, for review by CSD in 2006, in accordance with its
work programme.

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