About SIDS

SIDS—A Special Case

The Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) adopted in 1994, further complemented by The Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) of 2005 and MSI+5 Outcome document, recognized that although they are afflicted by economic difficulties and confronted by development imperatives similar to those of developing countries generally, small island developing States (SIDS) have their own peculiar vulnerabilities and characteristics, so that the difficulties they face in the pursuit of sustainable development are particularly severe and complex.

Small size - There are many disadvantages that derive from small size, including a narrow range of resources, which forces undue specialization; excessive dependence on international trade and hence vulnerability to global developments; high population density, which increases the pressure on already limited resources; overuse of resources and premature depletion; relatively small watersheds and threatened supplies of fresh water; costly public administration and infrastructure, including transportation and communication; and limited institutional capacities and domestic markets and limited export volumes, which are too small to achieve economies of scale.

Isolation – Their geographic dispersion and isolation from markets, due to remote locations, place many SIDS at a disadvantage economically, leading to high freight costs and reduced competitiveness.

Climate change and sea-level rise – Due to the coastal zone concentration in a limited land area, the adverse effects of climate change and sea-level rise present significant risks to the sustainable development of SIDS, and the long-term effects of climate change may threaten the very existence and viability of some SIDS.  

Natural and environmental disasters – SIDS are located among the most vulnerable regions in the world in relation to the intensity and frequency of natural and environmental disasters and their increasing impact, and face disproportionately high economic, social and environmental consequences.  

These special vulnerabilities SIDS face accentuate other challenges facing developing countries in general. These include, among others: difficulties in benefitting from trade liberalization and globalization; heavy dependence on coastal and marine resources for their livelihood including food security; heavy dependence on tourism which can be easily impacted by climate change and natural disasters; energy dependence and access issue; the limited freshwater resources; limited land resulting in land degradation, which affects waste management, and vulnerable biodiversity resources.

UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)

2 June 1992 - 14 June 1992

The special case of SIDS.The unique challenges facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) within the context of sustainable development were first formally recognized by the international community at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. The special case of small islands and coastal areas was highlighted in Agenda 21 – the programme of action for sustainable development adopted as an essential outcome of the conference.

 

2 June 1992 - 14 June 1992

Relevant Resources

Title Resource File Description
Agenda 21, Section II, Chapter 17, Section G

Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA)

25 April 1994 - 6 May 1994

Mandate

Established by UN General Assembly resolution 47/189, the UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS was held in Barbados from 25 April to 6 May 1994.

 

Outcome of the BPOA

25 April 1994 - 6 May 1994

Five-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA+5)

27 September 1999 - 28 September 1999

Outcome of the BPOA+5

On 27 - 28 September 1999, the 22nd Special Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS-22) undertook a comprehensive review and appraisal of the implementation of the BPOA. The Special Session adopted the “State of Progress and Initiatives for the Future Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS,” which identified six problem areas in need of urgent attention:

27 September 1999 - 28 September 1999

World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)

26 August 2002 - 4 September 2002

Significance of WSSD

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) convened from 26 August to 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa, reaffirmed the international community’s commitment to 'full implementation' of Agenda 21, alongside achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other international agreements. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), adopted at WSSD, sets out new commitments and priorities for action on sustainable development. It is divided in to eleven chapters, each with its own specific focus.

26 August 2002 - 4 September 2002

Relevant Resources

Title Resource File Description
Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development A/CONF.199/20
Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development

Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI)

10 January 2005 - 14 January 2005

Mandate

Mandated by UN GA Resolution (A/57/262), the high level Mauritius International Meeting held in Port Louis, Mauritius in January 2005 served as the culmination of a 10-year comprehensive review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (BPOA).

 

Outcome of the MSI

10 January 2005 - 14 January 2005

Five-year review of the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI+5)

24 September 2010 - 25 September 2010

Mandate

On 24-25 September 2010, during the high-level segment of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly, Member States undertook a 5-year review of the Mauritius Strategy (MSI) for the Further Implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS (BPOA), pursuant to UN General Assembly Resolutions 63/213 and 64/199.

24 September 2010 - 25 September 2010

Relevant Resources

Title Resource File Description
Five-year review of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States A/65/115
Trends in Sustainable Development: Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Issued in support of the five-year review of the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation for the sustainable development of SIDS, the report highlights the vulnerabilities of SIDS and recent trends in their sustainable development.

The key areas covered by the report are:

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

20 June 2012 - 22 June 2012

Significance

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20) took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. It was envisaged to be a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives. The Conference resulted in a focused political document.

20 June 2012 - 22 June 2012

Relevant Resources

Title Resource File Description
Outcome document of the High-level Review Meeting on the Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States A/RES/65/2

Mauritius+5 High Level Review Outcome Document

Report of the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States A/CONF.207/11
Five-year review of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States A/65/115
Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development A/CONF.199/20
Trends in Sustainable Development: Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Issued in support of the five-year review of the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation for the sustainable development of SIDS, the report highlights the vulnerabilities of SIDS and recent trends in their sustainable development.

The key areas covered by the report are:

Report of the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States A/CONF.167/9
Report of the Commission on Sustainable Development acting as preparatory body for the special session of the General Assembly for the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS A/S–22/2
Mauritius Declaration A/CONF.207/L.6
Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development
Agenda 21, Section II, Chapter 17, Section G
Seychelles National Bureau of Statistics - Website
The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica Official Website
Government of São Tomé and Príncipe
Presidência da República Democrática de São Tomé e Príncipe - President of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
Assembleia Nacional de São Tomé e Príncipe - National Assembly of São Tomé and Príncipe (official site, Portuguese)
Central Bank of São Tomé and Príncipe
Singapore Government Directory Interactive
Singapore Government Online Portal
eCitizen: Singapore's Gateway to All Government Services
Singapore Economic Development Board
SeyGov: Seychelles main government portal
State House: Office of the President of the Republic of the Seychelles
Central Bank of Seychelles
Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA)
Seychelles Investment Bureau
Government of Mauritius
Office of the President of Mauritius
Office of the Prime Minister of Mauritius
National Assembly of Mauritius
Office of the President of Maldives
Invest Maldives: the government agency entrusted with promoting, regulating and licensing foreign investments in the country
Maldives Department of Information in the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture
Constitution of Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau News
Présidence de l'Union des Comores (Site Officiel) - official website of the President of the Union of the Comoros
UNICEF - Comoros
Government of Cape Verde
National Assembly of Cape Verde
President of Cape Verde
Government of Guinea-Bissau
Kiribati National Climate Change Portal
Kiribati National Climate Change Portal
Official Website of the Government of Samoa
Online Portal of the Government of Fiji
Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Samoa Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Bahamas National Commission for UNESCO
The Future We Want...
SIDS World Statistics Pocketbook 2014

SIDS World Statistics Pocketbook 2014