Brussels,28 March 2012/ CTA/ ACP: The 27th Brussels Policy Briefing will be convened nextweek to focus on the unique vulnerabilities and opportunities facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Thirty eight SIDS (out of 52 indentified by the United Nations) are members of the ACP Group.

About a hundred ACP-EU policy makers, development practitioners and representatives of EU member states, civil society groups, and international organisationshave been targetted for two key panel discussions on Wednesday4 April, aimed to raise awareness, share information and provide a platform for networking and cooperation around the topic.

While island economies are diverse group with more than 50 million people, they face similar challenges such as a narrow range of narrow range of resources, excessive dependence on international trade, high transport and communication costs, and high population density in some areas. Most SIDS are located in the Caribbean or Pacific regions.

Due to their small size, isolation and fragility of island ecosystems, their renowned biological diversity is among the most threatened in the world. Natural disasters are of special concern to small islands because of their dependence on agriculture and tourism which are particularly vulnerable to natural and environmental disasters.

Speakers will focus on key threats for island economies such as vulnerability to external shocks, including environmental and economic hazards; vulnerability to climate change; dependency on tourism and food security. Opportunities and possible solutions will also be discussed, such as green economy, efficient energy technologies, and green tourism.

Panellists include, amongst others, Mr Cheick Sidi Diarra, Under Secretary General and High Representative for the LDCs, Land Locked Developing Countries and SIDS, USA; Professor Lino Briguglio, Director, Islands and Small States Institute, University of Malta; Dr Graham Sem, International Specialist on Climate Change, IPCC lead author, joint Nobel Peace Prize winner with members of the IPCC panel; Mr Sanjesh Naidu, Economic Adviser, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; and Mrs Ena Harvey, Agrotourism Specialist and Caribbean Management Coordinator, IICA.

The event is organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the ACP Secretariat, the European Commission (DG DEVCO), Concord, and various media partners.


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