BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 1, CMC – Barbados will host a high level conference in preparation for the Rio+20 environmental conference in Brazil.
The May 7 meeting of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Achieving Sustainable Energy for All and Rio+20 Informal Ministerial Preparatory Meeting will be attended by energy and environment ministers from Africa, the Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Caribbean as well as top United Nations officials and development experts, private sector and civil society.
The meeting will discuss policies and actions needed to advance SIDS sustainable development through sustainable energy access and will be addressed by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and the United Nations Development Programme, Resident Representative, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough.
Rio+20 will be an opportunity for SIDS to rally the international community with a unified voice, sharing their aspiration, needs, interests and concerns, including critical policy assessments.
In Barbados, the Rio+20 Informal Ministerial Preparatory Meeting will focus on two themes of Rio+20, namely the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty reduction and a framework for achieving sustainable development, the organisers said.
They said with less than two months before the conference begins in Rio de Janeiro, the SIDS will seek to arrive at the Barbados Declaration on sustainable energy for all.
“It will seek to highlight and gain support for the unique circumstances, vulnerabilities and needs of SIDS, articulating their support and commitments to ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix; and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency the goals to be reached by 2030 as part of the UN Secretary initiative on Sustainable Energy for All.”.
The conference will feature a SIDS rollout of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All 2012, the launch of Feasibility Studies on Renewable Energy for the Caribbean and its replicability for SIDS commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme for Barbados and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, and a Knowledge Fair.
The agenda will include discussions and presentations on UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and address the existing challenges, gaps and needs of SIDS in ensuring sustainable energy access; the link between sustainable energy and reducing poverty levels and achieving sustainable development.
The organisers said the meeting will conclude with the adoption by consensus of a “Barbados Declaration” articulating agreed goals and priorities of the SIDS ahead of the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012.