SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES NETWORK

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MEDIA RELEASE November 4, 1998

SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES NETWORK: BRIDGING ISLANDERS ON CLIMATE CHANGE

42 nations form unique network coordinated by UNDP's Sustainable Development Networking Programme [SDNP]to make a difference in how they discuss and solve climate change and sustainable development challenges.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina---The Small Island Developing States Network, called SIDSnet, has been created just in time to support the world-wide discussion related to the 4th Climate Change Convention opening today in Buenos Aires. A presence with the Pacific Island delegation, this web-based network allows an opportunity for information to be exchanged and conversations to occur that can improve the level of the dialogue on climate change. Through SIDSnet, an international community of island inhabitants -- who are among those most affected by climate change / global warming - can now be involved despite their relatively isolated geographic locations around the world.

According to the United Nations Development Programme's SIDSnet Manager, Tongan Mr. Taholo Kami, "Internet based networks such as SIDSnet have made the world a smaller place allowing our stakeholders in 42 island countries to share information instantly with a web connection. SIDSnet will be providing daily reports on activities throughout the Climate Change conference and will continue to follow-up the dialogue after the convention."

The research and development required to create SIDSnet was no small undertaking and an exciting extension of a public/private partnership developed to accomplish this. Hewlett-Packard (http://www.hp.com), which for the last two years has contributed computer equipment to SDNP's in developing countries, undertook the creation of the headquarters servers needed to centrally coordinate, but locally manage, the flow of this information. There was nothing like this configuration in the marketplace and the collaboration between SDNP and Hewlett Packard was an important collaboration for the success of SIDSnet.

Additionally, through a special marketing agreement with MUSCAT (http://www.muscat.com), the powerful search engine provides SIDSnet with state-of-the-art information retrieval technology.

The Muscat technology allows approved climate change sites to indexed overnight enabling instant searches up-to-the-minute information. Likewise there is a partnership with Eroom (http://www.eroom.com) which allows private secure networking for teams collaborating on island issues. This is a tremendous project management tool for SIDSnet, creating the way for ongoing private, cost-effective discussions to take place.

OneWorld Online (http://www.oneworld.org) is another key partner of SIDSnet and SDNP. Through their unique newswire technology, SIDSnet is able to post and gather news on island issues daily, offering this community and the world an unprecedented

opportunity for pointcasted information.

The SIDSnet initiative had its roots in the 1994 Barbados Conference which acknowledged the need for the application of information and communication technology to sustainable development issues of small island developing states. It has now been endorsed by regional political associations for islands world-wide. The site is hosted at UNDP Headquarters in New York under www.sidsnet.org but the decentralized system empowers stakeholders and organizations located in the Islands to determine the content for each site.

Concludes Kami "SIDSnet provides a unique tool - providing information to media outlets in the island countries and key stakeholders worldwide."

Contact: Daniela Hartmann http://www.sidsnet.org aniela@sidsnet.org USA TEL: (212)-906-5853

FAX: 212 906-6952

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