Members of AOSIS: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cape Verde Comoros, Cook Islands, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu
Observers: American Samoa, Guam, Netherlands Antilles, and U.S. Virgin Islands
Sustainable development is vital to Small Island developing States (SIDS). Due to their fragile ecosystems and their geographic isolation to other countries, SIDS are extremely vulnerable to a host of sustainable development challenges. In addressing these challenges, it is recognized that building effective partnerships among stakeholders at a local, regional and global scale is the only way islands can improve living standards while conserving the environment.
The Small Island Developing States Networking (SIDSnet) is one of the effective means of building such partnerships at regional and global levels through the Internet and related information communication technologies (ICTs). SIDSnet was initiated in 1997 as a project of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a coalition of 43 States drawn from Caribbean, Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and Pacific. SIDSnetís main goal has been to utilize electronic networking to link SIDS to support the implementation of the sustainable development objectives of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA).
SIDSnet is not only a medium for communication between SIDS stakeholders in the Barbados Programme of Action, but also a strong advocate for improving Internet awareness and infrastructure in SIDS. Through its website www.sidsnet.org, it provides tools for virtual discussions, chat conferences, focused searching, document submission and storage, mailing lists, events calendar and links to relevant BPoA websites. Currently, SIDSnet is focusing on six themes - sustainable tourism, coastal and marine resources, biodiversity, climate change, energy and trade. SIDSnet also mirrors several websites. The website receives 220,000+ hits per month from over 95 countries including donors and SIDS.
The project was initially funded by Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP), Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) agencies, and the Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) of the United Nations Development Programme in conjunction with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
SIDSnet Phase I was successfully completed in December 1999, having built the website and introduced cutting edge networking tools. The Government of Japan funded national Internet training workshops, which were implemented in 20 SIDS.
The Italian, Norwegian and German Governments have made contributions in launching the second phase of the project. The project activities for SIDSnet Phase II are divided into three components: - Global Networking for BPoA will continue by strengthening national and regional participation on BPoA issues. - SIDSnet will strengthen the information capacity for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). - Introduce and promote the use by SIDS of a "toolkit" of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) - "e-initiatives for SIDS or e-SIDS". Project activities would promote selected initiatives in tele-medicine, distance education, e-commerce and other similar tools that are able to optimize the limited telecommunications infrastructure of SIDS.
To implement these activities, approximately US$2.5million over a three-year period is required. Interested donors are invited to contribute to any or all of the proposed components.
SIDSnet Phase II is implemented by Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), and operationalized through a project document under the overall sponsorship of the UNDP through its Global Programme. The executing agency responsible for project management and administration, and for providing technical backstopping is the Water Resources Management and Small Island Developing States Branch of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).