Adi Meretui Ratunabuabua and Elise Huffer, the two CEESP Co-Chairs of the Theme on Culture and Conservation both gave presentations on the relationship between culture and sustainable development during a Roundtable on Culture and Sustainable Development in SIDS convened by UNESCO, held at the recent Pacific Preparatory Small Islands Developing States Meeting which took place July 9 to 12th in Nadi, Fiji.
Adi Meretui, who is also the Manager of the Pacific Heritage Hub hosted by the University of the South Pacific, then attended the closed delegates meeting to ensure that natural and cultural heritage protection, preservation and promotion, were high on the agenda of the meeting.
The Pacific preparatory meeting is part of a series of meetings taking place across the three regions of the Small Islands Developing States, commonly known as SIDS –the three regions are the Pacific, the Caribbean and AIMS (African and Indian Ocean Islands)- in the lead up to the SIDS conference which will be held in Apia, Samoa in 2014.
This process is designed to both review the implementation of Barbados Plan of Action and the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation and to feed into the Post-2015 Development Agenda. It is important that SIDS ensure that natural and cultural heritage preservation and promotion are high on the post-2015 agenda as their survival and well being depend on healthy and abundant biocultural diversity. Currently the rush towards natural resources exploitation on land and sea, coupled with sea level rise and changing weather patterns in the Pacific Islands region, are threatening environmental and cultural sustainability, and in some places actual survival of communities.
A report of the Roundtable and on the Pacific preparatory meeting outcomes is available.