Local residents stand in the water on a street flooded by the sea in the Centro Habana municipality in the Cuban capital in September 2017 in the wake of Hurricane Irma, one of the most intense storms in recent decades in this Caribbean island nation. CREDIT: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Caribbean - Cuba, a Small Island Nation Seeking to Manage Its Vulnerability

HAVANA, Aug 25 2021 (IPS) - Cuba, already beset by hurricanes, floods, droughts that deplete its main water sources, among other natural disasters, has seen its socioeconomic difficulties, similar to those faced by other Caribbean island nations, aggravated by the COVID-19 pand

Despite the complexity of its domestic situation, Cuba has offered its best health resources to small island nations in the region and more than a dozen of them have received Cuban medical brigades to help them face the emergency created by the pandemic.

With differences and similarities, the Caribbean region shares the fate of other Small Island Developing States(SIDS), which are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change but are responsible for only 0.2 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that cause global warming.

The SIDS will hold a Solutions Forum on Aug. 30-31, promoted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and sponsored by Fiji, to exchange experiences on how to move forward in the midst of the climate and health crisis towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in just a few more years.

The virtual conference is based on the premise that the 38 SIDS that are members of the United Nations and the other 20 associated territories, beyond their differences in size and development, share common challenges as island nations and can also share successful sustainable management initiatives that can be replicated in the other members scattered throughout the developing regions of the South.

“SIDS are characterised by unique development needs and extreme vulnerability. Frequent exposure to hazards and natural disasters intensified by climate change” negatively impacts Cuba, as well as the rest of the countries, FAO representative in Cuba Marcelo Resende told IPS.

He said this Caribbean country “has a lot of expertise and know-how in the integration of environmental sustainability, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, so this exchange and transfer of knowledge will be positive.”

The SIDS Forum aims precisely to promote and exchange innovation and digitalisation solutions for sustainable agriculture, food, nutrition, environment and health.

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