Thematic review: Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies SIDS perspective
HLPF has a special role to address the sustainable development challenges facing small island developing States (SIDS). It will examine the issue of building island and community resilience through the water and sustainable energy lens. Reducing poverty, triggering economic growth and building resilient societies requires harnessing the potential of ecosystems to satisfy the demands of water and energy, which are essential for life, health and wellbeing and economic growth and development.

Most SIDS have made significant progress in expanding the provision of access to water and sanitation. The problems now being encountered include quality of service, maintenance and operation of existing infrastructure, ageing infrastructure, high levels of unaccounted for water and quality of potable water. This suggests difficulties with the management of water services and with securing the necessary levels of investment to address the supply–demand gap. With respect to energy supply and services, over that last two decades many SIDS have developed and adopted comprehensive energy policies, typically addressing the development of legislation, investment incentives, measures for energy efficiency, infrastructure investments, and guidance for the direction of energy resource development. The countries, often with isolated, small electric grids and similar sustainable development and climate change challenges, have unique needs requiring creative measures in energy policy.

Proposed guiding questions:

  • How can SIDS transform their energy sectorsto ensure accessto sustainable and secure energy supplies and facilitate economic growth and sustainable development? What support is needed from the international community for the development of comprehensive sustainable energy policies and programmes in SIDS?
  • What enabling environment (legislative and institutional) is necessary for effective water governance in SIDS?
  • How can integrated water resources management be used to address impacts from climate change, improve overall water security, including re-use of wastewater, and better health and wellbeing?
  • What are the prospect for SIDS to reach the SDGs and make societies resilient and sustainable?

Chair:

  • H.E. Mr. Marc Pecsteen, Vice-President of ECOSOC

Moderator:

  • H.E. Ms. Henrietta Elizabeth Thompson, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the UN, and former Minister for Energy and Environment of Barbados

Panellists:

  • Hon Alexander Teabo, Minister for Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development, Kiribati
  • Ms. Tessa Williams-Robertson, Head of Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit, Caribbean Development Bank
  • Mr. Adrianus Tvlugman, Senior Advisor, Water Sanitation, Environmental Health, PAHO, WHO

Lead discussants:

  • Ms. Rhonda Robinson, Deputy Director, Water and Sanitation, Secretariat of the Pacific Community
  • Ms. Addys Claribel Then Marte, Executive Director, Alianza ONG (Volunteers)

Followed by interactive discussion

Biographies
Hon Alexander Teabo
Minister of Agriculture of Kiribati
Hon Alexander Teabo

Minister of Agriculture of Kiribati

Mr. Adrianus Tvlugman
Senior Advisor, Water Sanitation, Environmental Health, PAHO, WHO
Mr. Adrianus Tvlugman

Senior Advisor, Water Sanitation, Environmental Health, PAHO, WHO

Adrianus (Ton) Vlugman has an MSc. in Environmental Health Engineering from the Technical University of Delft in 1984 and is working for the Pan American/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) since 1987, serving CARICOM countries and presently working as Senior Advisor, Water Sanitation and Environmental Health for the Caribbean region.

Eng. Vlugman has been living and working in the Caribbean for half his life and has been involved in many projects of varying aspects of environmental determinants of health, including: groundwater quality monitoring program in Barbados; operational status of wastewater treatment plants in 14 Caricom countries; solid waste management in many Caribbean countries; sick building syndrome, impacts from small scale gold mining in Suriname; health promoting schools projects in Bahamas and Suriname and other community based projects ; impregnated bed netting project (malaria project with support from Rotary); SMART Hospital Assessor; integration of rainwater harvesting in water supply systems at health care facilities. He is now focusing on strengthening management of environmental determinants of health in national adaptation planning to impacts of climate change.

Eng. Vlugman is member of the PAHO’s “Post Disaster Rapid Assessment and Response Team” and was involved in many emergency damage and needs assessments and relief operations since 1988. Based on above projects Mr. Vlugman wrote several technical papers on the risk to contamination of groundwater and the operational status of wastewater treatment plants. He is the author of the PAHO/CEHI publication: Operational Status of Wastewater Treatment Plants in the Caribbean (1992) and the WHO technical publication “Drinkingwater in Emergency Situations (1998)”. His latest publication is entitled “A handbook for safe and healthy schools.”

Ms. Addys Claribel Then Marte
Executive Director, Alianza ONG (Volunteers)
Ms. Addys Claribel Then Marte

Executive Director, Alianza ONG (Volunteers)

Ms. Addys Claribel Then Marte is the Executive Director of Alianza ONG in the Dominican Republic, a multisectoral network of 35 nonprofit organizations. From this organization, sustainable development projects are designed in areas such as public participation, strengthening of civil society organizations and voluntarism. As part of the civil society, she is a member of the Dominican Republic High Level Inter-Institutional Commission for Sustainable Development, for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Currently she is a part of the coordination committee of the Mesa de Articulación de Asociaciones Nacionalesy Redes Regionales de ONG de América Latinay El Caribe. She is alternate for the coordination of Latin America and the Caribbean of the Civil Society Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE).

Bachelor in Business Administration, Cum Laude, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). She has done studies on public policies in the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO). She has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Ortegay Gasset University Institute, 2008. She was Humphrey Fellow at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University (2009-2010).

Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson
Former Minister for Energy and Environment, Barbados
Ms. H. Elizabeth Thompson

Former Minister for Energy and Environment, Barbados

Liz Thompson is a former Minister of Energy and Environment of Barbados. She was an elected Member of Parliament from 1994 to 2008, a Minister for 12 years, and led Minority Business in the Senate from 2008. In 2010 she was appointed by the Secretary General as an Assistant Secretary General of the UN and one of two Executive Coordinators of Rio+20 responsible for building support for the themes, objectives and outcomes of the Conference.

For Rio+20 Ms. Thompson also championed the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), aimed at developing more practitioners of sustainability. To date the HESI has attracted support from more than 300 universities in over 50 countries. It seeks to get universities and business schools to green their campuses and transport systems, develop green procurement policies and supply chains, build a body of literature, case studies and learning around sustainable development, and teach sustainability as a module to all students so as to enhance their understanding and practice of sustainability in their discipline and area of enterprise.

In 2008 Ms. Thompson was honored with UNEP’s prestigious Champion of the Earth Award for her work in climate change and environment. Ms. Thompson is an attorney, a qualified commercial arbitrator, a trained petroleum negotiator, holds an L.L.B. from the University of the West Indies, a Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School, an M.B.A. with Distinction from the University of Liverpool, UK, and an L.L.M. in energy and environmental law and policy with a minor in renewable energy law and policy from the Robert Gordon University, Scotland.

Ms. Rhonda Robinson
Deputy Director, Water and Sanitation, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
Ms. Rhonda Robinson

Deputy Director, Water and Sanitation, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)

Rhonda Robinson was the Deputy Director for the Water and Sanitation Programme of the Pacific Community (SPC) for the period 2011 – 2017 and was responsible for the coordination and management of the Pacific regional water and sanitation portfolio in the 22 member countries in the region.

A graduate from the University of the South Pacific and the Australian National University she has worked in various capacities for the SOPAC Commission and the SPC for over 17 years and has Pacific regional knowledge and demonstrated experience in natural resources management and development through the successful delivery of high impact Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes in the public sector. This includes the strong coordination and management of knowledge and expertise to implement coherent integrated solutions. Demonstrated knowledge and experience in in community resilience WASH projects through sectoral and cross sectoral scientific programming, operational and technical oversight and implementation support to projects, programmes and areas of work. Strong programme and organizational strategic planning and change management through the coordination of business planning, strategic planning and prioritization processes. Strong resource mobilization experience responding to country priority areas and facilitating development partner engagement in joined up initiatives. High-level strategic WASH expert advisor to several global, regional and national strategic policy and investment advisory groups since 2007. Skilled programme and project manager effective at building and leading committed and high-achieving teams that combine a range of personal, technical and professional backgrounds and are recognized as leading scientists and practitioners, well-versed and passionate about Pacific development and in particular sustainable WASH policy and practice in the Pacific.

She was recently appointed to the role of Deputy Director Disaster and Community Resilience Programme in March 2018 in SPC and is now leading a new programme established to achieve the sustainable development goals through evidence based action and partnerships for resilience through integrated action on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and increased access to water and sanitation.

Ms. Tessa Williams-Robertson
Head of Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit, Caribbean Development Bank
Ms. Tessa Williams-Robertson

Head of Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit, Caribbean Development Bank

Tessa Williams-Robertson has been a development banker for more than 35 years. She held the position of Director of Projects at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) from 2009 until her retirement in September 2013. During this period, she also acted as Vice-President (Operations). Williams-Robertson returned to CDB in January 2014 to establish the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit (REEEU) in the Office of the Vice-President (Operations). She is currently the Head of the Unit, which promotes renewable energy and energy efficiency interventions in CDB’s 19 Borrowing Member Countries. Under Williams-Robertson’s leadership, the Bank’s Energy Sector Policy and Strategy was approved; energy security was given priority in the CDB Strategic Plan 2015-2019; and the importance of appropriate resource mobilisation has been emphasised. During her CDB tenure, she has represented the Bank on the Boards of LIAT, West Indies Shipping Corporation and Corporación Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura, S.A. (CIFI). Williams-Robertson holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Howard University, Washington, D.C.

Statements
Statements
Hon Alexander Teabo, Minister for Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development, Kiribati
Ms. Rhonda Robinson, Deputy Director, Water and Sanitation, Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Presentations
Mr. Adrianus Tvlugman, Senior Advisor, Water Sanitation, Environmental Health, PAHO, WHO
Ms. Tessa Williams-Robertson, Head of Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit, Caribbean Development Bank
United Nations