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2nd September 2014, Apia, Samoa: The PIDF together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP or ESCAP), and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) today hosted a very successful High Level Panel on SIDS’s Pathways to Inclusive Green Economy and Poverty Reduction. The Panel was convened as part of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States that is currently meeting in Apia, Samoa from 1 to 4 September 2014.
Keynote speakers were:
1. H.E. Anote Tong, President of Republic of Kiribati
2. Mr. Achim Steiner UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director UNEP
3. H.E. Denis S. Lowe, Minister of Environment, Barbados
4. H.E. Devanand Virahsawmy, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Republic of Mauritius
5. H.E. Rimeta Beniamina, Minister for Communication, Transport & Tourism Development, Republic of Kiribati
6. Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary, UNESCAP
7. Ms. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The Session was moderated by David Sheppard, Director General, SPREP.
Speakers shared practices and lessons learned in their countries’ transition to a greener economy. Many of the “front runners” on transitioning to green economy come from SIDS. Early on, SIDS knew they it is imperative for them to manage their limited and fragile ecosystems responsibly, and for creating economic growth without destroying their environment and natural resources.

Speakers shared on innovations and policies that increase resilience and create comparative advantage in the face of resource constraints. They affirmed that as they pursue sustainable development and poverty eradication goals, they recognize Green Economy as a key instrument for effective policy-making and implementation.
Commenting on the session the Secretary General of the PIDF Mr Feleti Teo said,
“For many Small Island Developing States their future development is dependent on a very narrow resource base that is constantly challenged by the high-risk impacts of climate change and natural disasters.”
“The issues facing SIDS are multi-dimensional and require integrated actions to address them. An inclusive Green Economy approach offers opportunities for SIDS to better manage natural capital, protect the environment, create green jobs and achieve sustainable development.”
“For this end, we are pleased at the experiences that were shared and the discussions that ensured. Policy makers and key stakeholders awareness of challenges and opportunities in green economy were enhanced.”
“We had sought to strengthen global and regional cooperative partnerships to support the transformation of economic structure toward green economy through discussions on diverse policy options and strategies and we are happy that this forum has provided the platform for this”.
The event also featured the launch of the GEO SIDS report prepared by UNEP and its handover by Executive Director UNEP to H.E. President of Kiribati and other Panelists.

Picture1Source :( photo: Panelists at the GE Forum)