SIDS Dock Treaty makes history

A slice of history was made Sept. 30 as the United Nations observed the announcement of the entry into force of the SIDS Dock Treaty — the legal recognition of the intergovernmental sustainable energy and climate resilience organization established by heads of state and government of Small Island Developing States in 2009.

The creation of the organization was in an effort to help finance climate change adaptation through transforming their countries economies to low carbon economies.

According to their website, SIDS Dock, “is designed as a “DOCKing station,” to connect the energy sector in SIDS with the global market for finance, sustainable energy technologies and with the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) carbon markets, and able to trade the avoided carbon emissions in those markets.”

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves said, “It is intended to connect the SIDS with the public and private invesgtors, global clean energy technology developers, and carbon markets, and to accelerate capacity building in order to transform the energy sector in SIDS.”

During the various presentations, special care and importance were placed on the vulnerability of small island states — particularly the case of Dominica which was devastated by a recent storm causing Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and fellow chair of CARICOM to miss the historical day.

“These disastrous events are the reality that we at SIDS face on a regular basis. Therefore it is fitting that we are gathered here today in celebration of one of the greatest historical events for the Small Island States,” Gonsalves said.

Following the recent passage of Tropical Storm Erika, Dominica lost nearly all of its GDP; an example calling for the need for countries to pay special attention to the effects of climate change.

Dominica has served as a major pillar in ensuring the success towards the implementaiton of the SIDS DOCK.

“This is an important milestone, a new phase in a long journey. An endeavor to address the needs of almost 50 million SIDS citizens,” he said.

The ceremony included a symbolic handover of instruments to the Office of the United National Secretary-General from the first 11 ratifying countries including, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cook Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, and Tuvalu.

The adoption of the SIDS Dock Treaty is seen as an opportunity for possible lucrative public-private partnerships to be explored in areas such as technology.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the partners committed to raising $100 million for funding of the initiative.

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.