SIDS Global Business Network Virtual Forum

Leveraging Partnerships for the Sustainable Development of Ocean Energy in Small Island Developing States
Co-hosted by UN-OHRLLS and IRENA
30 & 31 March 2021


  • 30 March: 08:00-10:30 EST Caribbean and AIS Regions Register
  • 31 March: 16:00-18:30 EST Pacific Region Register



The Small Island Developing States Global Business Network (SIDS-GBN) orginated from the Private Sector Partnerships Forum organised by UN-OHRLLS on the margins of the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States.

The SIDS GBN aims to share best practices and lessons learned in support of private sector partnerships. The network forges collaboration among SIDS regional and local private sector organisations and works towards strengthening inter-regional business alliances and encouraging international businesses to focus on SIDS as potential market opportunities.

Promoting genuine and durable partnerships is an invaluable means to achieving the objectives of the S.A.M.O.A Pathway, the dedicated programme of action for SIDS, and achieving the sustainable development goals in the SIDS. The SIDS GBN provides a platform to attract greater interest and investments in SIDS by the private sector and to increase their engagement in promoting sustainable development through durable partnerships.  

The right investment, however small, has the potential to make meaningful impacts on the livelihood of many islanders. Strong private sectors in energy transition in SIDS will generate socio-economic benefits such as job creation, competitive and increased exports, transfer of technology, strengthened small and medium enterprises, improving livelihoods and overall economic well-being.

Currently the COVID-19 pandemic has caused much disruption in SIDS economies associated with drop in global economic activity that has resulted in the complete shutdown in tourism, reduced demand for seafood and decline in maritime shipping with negative implications on livelihoods, food and water security.  SIDS being the custodians of much of the world’s oceans makes it critical to develop ocean economies to help rebuild back stronger and better. Furthermore, SIDS are heavily dependent on imported and expensive fossil fuels that are vulnerable to external shocks worsening the extreme impacts of climate change and the pandemic.

Many SIDS have also committed to work towards 100% renewable energy through the Ambitious SIDS Climate Package that was presented by AOSIS at the 2019 Climate Ambition Summit. Furthermore, some of the stimulus packages designed in response to COVID-19 will help SIDS to recover and build-back different and stronger that will drive increased green investment. The Forum offers an opportunity to explore similar pathways of recovery for ocean-based energy which address sustainability, diversification and build resilience in SIDS.


The GBN Virtual Forum will promote dialogue and foster private sector collaboration in the implementation of the S.A.M.O.A Pathway and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In particular, the focus will be on  the nexus between SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 14: Life Below Water as well as the development priorities of SIDS.

The Virtual Forum will identify needs and opportunities to build partnerships that can amplify innovation, capacity building, transfer of appropriate technology and knowledge and support for SIDS in overcoming challenges associated to the development of sustainable ocean energy.


Participants will be from the public, private sectors and civil society and the event will strive for broad participation from SIDS and partner countries. All are invited to one or both of the sessions, including the inter-regional participation of SIDS in both events to further strengthen collaboration and networking.

Participants will include, but are not limited to:
Representatives of SIDS Governments, development partners, international and multilateral organisations, SIDS Chambers of Commerce at the local and regional levels, private sector, International Financial Institutions, Supra-/ Intergovernmental Organisationsations, Academic institutions and think tanks, CSOs, philanthropists, other relevant stakeholders and experts


  1. Increased awareness and understanding by the private sector on the concepts and business models for sustainable ocean energy development/ the SDGs and the SAMOA Pathway.  
  2. Increased interest by the private sector to invest and take advantage of business opportunities that will enhance sustainable development in SIDS.
  3. Sharing of best practices and networking opportunities among participants from the private sector, SIDS Governments and relevant stakeholders.
  4. Effective integration of the key messages from the SIDS-GBN Forum into the Our Oceans Conference to be organised in Palau in 2021 and increased focus given to SIDS in the outcome of this Conference.


Tuesday 30 March 2021, 08.00-10.30 EST Time  Caribbean and AIS Regions

8:00 - 08:15 Session 1: Welcoming and Keynote Remarks
08:15 - 08:30

Session 2: Scene Setting Presentation by IRENA
SIDS Lighthouses Initiative, Innovation Outlook: Ocean Energy, High Shares of renewables and private sector engagement

08:30 - 09:15 Session 3: Showcasing Caribbean and AIS national and regional initiatives on Ocean Energy
09:15 – 10:25 Session 4: Thematic discussion on gaps and way forward to seize opportunities on partnerships for sustainable ocean energy in SIDS
10:25 - 10:30 Closing
Wednesday 31 March 2021, 16.00-18.30 EST Time Pacific Region
16:00 - 16:15 Session 1: Welcoming and Keynote Remarks
16:15 - 16:30

Session 2: Scene Setting Presentation by IRENA
SIDS Lighthouses Initiative, Innovation Outlook: Ocean Energy, High Shares of renewables and private sector engagement

16:30 - 17:15 Session 3: Showcasing Pacific national and regional initiatives on Ocean Energy
17:15 – 17:30 Session 4: Thematic discussion on gaps and way forward to seize opportunities on partnerships for sustainable ocean energy in SIDS
18:15 - 18:30 Closing