Samoa, April 7: The discussion on Science and Science Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) in collaboration with the Governments of Samoa and New Zealand.In the discussion the Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi said: “It is a must for all small islands, Samoa included, consolidating science, technology and innovation policy, and science advice, if we are to achieve sustainable development”.
To assess the needs and opportunities for bridging the gaps between science, technology and innovation (STI) systems and policy-makers the high-level discussion was held in Apia, Samoa. The Apia Ministerial Stated on Pacific Science, Technology and Innovation, which summarises the outcomes of the high-level ministerial meeting, was held on Wednesday.
Highlighting the importance of STI as a main pillar, Flavia Schlegel a UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences explained “STI has the potential and the power to address major challenges such as degradation and environmental restoration; adaptation to climate change, disaster risk reduction and minimizing loss and damage; challenges such as existing and emerging diseases; youth unemployment, economic instability and social inequities”.
PM of Samoa agreed that the significant impact of climate change on small islands in the Pacific can only be understood and addressed through science policy making and Science, technology, and innovation are effective tools to build their cities through natural hazards and risks.
The ministers participated in the discussion had assured to support the development of a relevant STI framework and national policies that address issues in science education, science advice, traditional scientific knowledge systems and capacities in all STI areas.
According to Apia Ministerial Statement, the ministers participated in the discussion supporting Pacific SIDS in developing and implementing appropriate policies and will also be helping in the development of a broad roadmap for STI policy and capacity in the Pacific Island States to collaborate with the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific (CROP) and INGSA.
In this discussion held at Apia, the participants were policymakers and researchers from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. At the end of a discussion, Apia Ministerial Statement was signed by the Education Ministers of Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.