The Third International Conference for Small Island Developing States, held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia,Samoa, featured the launch of a network of regional sustainable energy centers for SIDS in Africa, the Pacific, Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. The south-south multi-stakeholder partnership is coordinated by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Sustainable Energy Mechanism – SIDS DOCK and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with financial support of the Governments of Austria and Spain.
“The technical centers will support SIDS DOCK and regional organizations in the implementation of the SE4ALL targets, the SIDS DOCK 25-50-25 Goal and the USD 1.6 billion SIDS DOCK indicative project pipeline”, highlighted Hon. Dr. Kenneth Darroux, Minister for the Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries, Commonwealth of Dominica, acting in his country’s capacity as Chair of the SIDS DOCK Steering Committee.
“We aim at a fully operational network of centers by the end of 2015”, announced Mr. Pradeep Monga, Director of the UNIDO Energy and Climate Change Branch. The network will serve all SIDS regions and comprise the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), the Pacific Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (PCREEE), as well as the Indian Ocean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (IOCREEE).
The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), operating in Cabo Verde, since 2010, will host a coordination unit for the African SIDS: Cabo Verde, Guinea Bissau and São Tomé and Príncipe. “South-south cooperation can become a key driver for transformational change in the energy sector of small island countries”, highlighted Mr. Mahama Kappiah, Executive Director of ECREEE. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ECREEE and SIDS DOCK was signed at the margins of the conference.
The south-south network of centers responds to the urgent need for enhanced regional capacities to promote sustainable energy markets and industries in SIDS. The regional centers will up-scale national efforts in the areas of policy implementation, capacity building, knowledge and technology transfer, as well as investment and business promotion. The centers will help to empower the local private sector and industry to benefit from sustainable energy investments and job opportunities. They will contribute to better coordination, donor harmonization and the assurance of long-term sustainability of project interventions.