‘Island States have similar needs to survive’

For Small Island Developing States, economies are often dependant on one or two sectors to keep them afloat.

When those economies are oil and gas like they are in Bahrain, it might be time to think about investing in something new, as climate change results even more dangerous impacts.

Attending the SAMOA Pathway multi-regional preparation meetings for the mid-term review next year is Noora Alamer, who sits on Bahrain’s supreme council for environment as the head of climate change and sustainable development.

A small archipelago in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain was among the first countries to discover oil, and has been reaping the benefits of it for thousands of years, said Ms. Alamer.

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But a pivot away from burning fossil fuels in an effort to curb carbon emissions has resulted in a growing finance and banking sector, tourism sector and pearl market. 

Today, instead of financing the country using the oil pipelines, the Crown Prince of Bahrain has elected to spend the income on innovation and entrepreneurship to address climate change.

“We are looking at financing, innovation and creating incubators and hubs in order to innovate in a way that’s sustainable, competitive and meets the future of what we need as a country.

“Through different partnerships, though we don’t have one yet (with S.I.D.S), we are excited to get engaged through the S.A.M.O.A Pathway.”

Bahrain may differ somewhat to Pacific island nations in its oil economy but the vulnerabilities to climate change, said Ms. Alamer.

“When we look at other S.I.D.S we look at our similarities in our needs for adaptation, even things as simple as cross cultural knowledge on how to protect our seas, our coastlines.”

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