Connectivity cuts across various thematic areas of importance to SIDS including inter alia: sustainable tourism, social development, environmental management, sustainable agriculture, disaster risk reduction and oceans management. Access to connectivity for all is conducive to stimulating economic growth and this access needs further enhancement in SIDS through multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Transport are essential elements in the economic development of SIDS. Despite hard won gains, connectivity remains a major obstacle. In regard to ICTs, new partnerships are needed to tackle specific challenges such as access to ICT hardware which – for the business community – is an essential tool for accessing the international marketplace.
Partnerships including public/private partnerships need to be supported through a multi-stakeholder approach, including the pooling of resources to improve inter-island connectivity. The private sector will play a crucial role in establishing and maintaining ICT systems, while satellite companies operating in SIDS have an important role to play in complementing those areas where submarine cables are absent.
Aside from ICTs, connectivity through transport, particularly shipping and aviation, is an essential enabler for SIDS’ socio-economic prospects and achieving sustainable development. Nonetheless, the shipping sector remains a high risk sector, both in the private sector and SIDS governments given the high fuel costs, infrequent schedules and both the lack of and high cost of building and maintaining modern infrastructure. The aviation sector also poses similar challenges and strong partnerships are therefore needed to ensure connectivity
Featured Partnerships from the 2014 Private Sector Partnerships Forum
The ICT4SIDS partnership aims to accelerate the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway and UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through ICT. Focus is on two types of capacity building: human capacity building through educational programs for ICT Leaders, and technical capacity building through a Computer Aided Planning Platform called SPACE that can help in rapid deployment of ICT hubs (Centers of Excellence) for SIDS. To learn more about the ICT4SIDS partnership, click here.
Featured Partnerships from the 2014 Third International Conference on SIDS
Addressing Connectivity for the Sustainable Development of SIDS
This project aims to achieve low cost, reliable, diverse satellite communications capacity for the socio-economic development of the Pacific Islands region utilizing un-used satellite capacity. To get the best return on investment, the same telecommunications/ICT infrastructure/resources will be used for emergency telecommunications to ensure public safety when disasters strike. The partners are: Intelsat Satellite LLC, Inmarsat, Kacific Broadband Satellites PTE LTD and International Telecommunication Satellite Organisation. Click here to learn more.
Bridging Broadband Barriers for SIDS sustainable development
A partnership by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the objective is to improve social and economic development and to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for climate change adaptation and mitigation, and emergency telecommunication when a natural disaster strikes. Click here to learn more.
Pacific Islands Aviation Investment Program
By improving aviation infrastructure, management and operations, the Pacific Aviation Investment Program will help make air travel to and from the Pacific Islands safer and more efficient. Greater flight access and improved travel conditions will promote tourism and trade, also opening access to jobs, markets and services overseas. It will boost regional integration through shared technology, systems and an effective air transport network. Click here to learn more.
Pacific Regional Navigation Initiative
Safe and reliable passage through Pacific waters is essential to protect fragile ocean environments and allow Pacific island countries’ economies to develop. Up-to-date navigation charts based on modern, accurate surveys are critical transport infrastructure the ocean equivalent of well-constructed roads. Hydrography is highly specialised. Few Pacific countries have the technical capability or systems needed to undertake hydrographic surveys or update their own navigational charts. This new regional programme aims to ensure Pacific navigation charts meet international standards and support maritime safety and economic growth. Click here to learn more.
Featured Photo Credit: Lonny Paul, Flickr