About Us

Mission Statement

to strengthen innovation and resilience in SIDS
by sharing SDG-related best practices and lessons learned
and to support SIDS in their journey
of Sustainable Development.

About COE

The Centre of Excellence (COE) for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is an initiative of the Government of Aruba, the Kingdom of The Netherlands, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The COE aims to strengthen innovation and resilience in SIDS around the world. It offers a platform to exchange knowledge and experiences between developing countries (South-South cooperation), on issues such as renewable energy, climate resilience, public-private partnerships, water management, tourism, environment and public health.

“Sustainability, climate resilience, tackling the eradication of poverty in a multidimensional way — beyond income alone—and boosting access to finance for development are essential for SIDS,” said Jessica Faieta, UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “This Centre will be crucial to boost exchanges between Aruba and among other SIDS which have many innovative experiences that can help other island states in their path to implement and ultimately achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

SIDS are even more vulnerable than other countries to challenges related to “external shocks” ranging from debt and unemployment to climate change and sea level rise. Though all very different from each other, SIDS share crucial challenges, which make their path towards sustainable development even more complex. Climate change, for example, hits the SIDS hard – even though these countries haven’t historically been a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Extreme exposure to natural disasters such as flooding, hurricanes, droughts, landslides and earthquakes place these countries at a particularly vulnerable position. The need to effectively manage fixed national assets and liabilities such as water, agricultural land, solid waste sites and natural resources is a challenge common to all SIDS.

Centre of Excellence Objectives

The Centre of Excellence builds on Aruba’s experience in the use of sustainable development practices. Over the years, the country has developed a reputation for tackling these issues. Key partners of the COE are the University of Aruba and TNO Caribbean, amongst many others.

The COE seeks to leverage SIDS’ expertise and experience in sustainable development to provide a platform for strengthening innovation and resilience among SIDS through South-South cooperation and exchange of knowledge on sustainable practices in energy, public-private partnerships (PPP),  tourism and social adoption. View signed project document here.

Centre of Excellence Initial Outputs

  • Training in SDG-related development road maps for SIDS
  • A virtual platform for knowledge exchange and online community
  • In-country technical assistance related to road mapping
  • Knowledge products and learning tools to support knowledge transfer and exchange.

Some Feedback about the COE’s activities…

 “Sincere thanks to you and all in your team for this learning experience. I have learned much and I hope to do my little from my tiny corner.” – Khushbu Rai, Fiji

 “It was a great learning and sharing experience for me as a participant with particular interest in the renewable energy.” – Miriama Betham-Malielegaoi, Samoa

 “Tell me to whom should I send information about Cuba, so we can start collaborating! A great pleasure to meet all of you at COE, keep up the good work!” – Yaima De Armas, Cuba

 “Thank you all for the opportunity to Online Learning course. It was a very interactive and accessible way of knowledge-transfer and sharing from various countries. I do applaud the facilitators, the support team and technicians that help made what Sustainable Energy for SIDs program possible.” – Asenaca Vakasevuraki, Fiji

 “The training was highly informative and productive!” -Elibeth Lopez, Dominican Republic

“Thank you so very much for the opportunity to participate in this very valuable course! I am very ardent about policy and clean tech, and welcome learning how to best set policy framework, especially for SIDs. I look forward to continuing the knowledge process with you, and participate in any further forums/projects as they arise.” – Astrid Kowlessar, Trinidad & Tobago

 “Thanks to the COE team for a great course that I have benefited from immensely.” – Shaynis Connor, Anguilla

COE Team Members

Mr. Arno Boersma

Manager Center of Excellence

Ms. Francielle Lacle

Technical Assistant

Mrs. Magali Guzman

Intern from partner University of Aruba