The Commonwealth Secretariat has partnered with the Stakeholder Forum to produce a second edition of the "A Pocket Guide to Sustainable Development Guidance".
The Second Edition of the Pocket Guide includes updated information on some key proposals related to sustainable development and environmental governance and a more historical account of some of the processes to date.
It is hoped that the pocket guide will assist various stakeholders to navigate their way through the wide range of proposals on sustainable development governance, many of which are currently under discussion in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
We organised a meeting for small state climate change negotiators in Windsor, UK in May 2008 to deepen their understanding of current negotiations.
The group developed a list of the key technical information gaps and needs that small states need to address to support their negotiating process and agreed a set of priority outcomes for small states to focus on in the negotiations.
The meeting also produced a forward-looking strategy to support small states in the negotiating process through a strengthened and better structured Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). We are exploring how this strategy may be supported. We worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, and AOSIS to put together this event.
We commissioned and published a discussion paper in October 2008 which examines the important role that local governments can have in addressing the challenges posed by climate change.
It argues that given their proximity to the community, local governments are in a unique position to tackle the cause and effects of climate change.
The paper provides examples and gives advice on what local government can do to respond to the issue. Readers are invited to take part in the discussion by emailing comments on the issues raised to email@example.com
In 2007 we provided financial support totalling US$290,000 for senior staff and institutional development support for the International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development.
“The work that is happening at Iwokrama -- to examine and demonstrate practical ways in which forests can be sustainably managed and maintained in partnership with local people and the private sector -- is an important benefit to us all. We need to find new and more innovative approaches to economic development that will help people to earn a living from the forest, attract foreign exchange, and create investment and broad-based development, by using this resource in a variety of ways, not just as a source of timber,” said Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Ransford Smith, Deputy Chair of the Iwokrama International Board of Trustees
We have been encouraging and giving political support to the development of the Commonwealth Disaster Management Agency’s insurance models.
The CDMA has established a strategic relationship with HSBC Group’s Insurance Broking and Insurance Management businesses and will finalise the terms of a Framework Agreement at the Annual Meeting of the World Bank and IMF in Washington DC in October 2009. The proposed terms will provide for HSBC to set up a dedicated insurance cell in Bermuda, specifically to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on small and developing states and regions.
Unlike other insurance programmes which only cover the insurance of states and regions against natural disasters, other additional entities such as private companies, financial institutions, charities, provinces, districts and metropolitan authorities will also be eligible for cover under these arrangements.
The CDMA is therefore in a strong position to give Commonwealth small states insurance policies which help them meet the challenges thrown up by global warming and sea-level rise, in a context where extreme events are now occurring with greater severity and more frequently.
As part of an ongoing package to support reconstruction efforts following the tsunami disaster in December 2004 - when the Commonwealth provided 23 doctors to provide interim cover during the recovery period - we are helping to train regional health care managers and strengthen the National Medical Council of the Maldives.
Drawing on a team of volunteer experts from the UK’s Royal College of General Practitioners, we have supported development of guidelines for the operations of the National Medical Council.
We have also completed a draft oral health policy has been completed for Sierra Leone as part of its recovery efforts from the recent conflict. This has been presented to the Minister of Health and subsequently to the Parliamentary Committee for Health for its consideration.