SIDS are the small islands of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.  The development of these isolated small island states is often hindered by top-heavy and expensive and often ineffective administrations as well as their heavy reliance on international trade.

The UN set about recognising the plight of the small island states at their Conference on Environment and Development in June 1992.  Not only were they identified and named but programmes were set in motion to address the need for sustainable development.

Tourism was seen as the catalyst to solving the economic problems of the island countries, and a concerted effort has been made to nurture the industry and improve infrastructure.  However, tourism is not a consistent and reliable contributor to the GDP of the islands, as its volumes consistently fluctuate and are greatly influenced by world events or natural disasters, to which these island states are particularly vulnerable. Nonetheless, the efforts are made to develop the industry has provided in many instances a well-managed and sustainable infrastructure which has significantly enhanced sustainability amount these small countries.

Costs incurred by Small Island Developing States.

Natural Disasters and a fragile environment add to the difficulties faced by the island countries. Global warming accounts for rising ocean levels which erode the coastal areas and eat away at the island’s land mass.  The islands suffer as much from cyclones and hurricanes as they do from frequent droughts, and the cost of rehabilitation is high.

There is also the problem of pollution caused by the use of fossil fuels and oil spills caused by oil tankers.

Waste disposal is another issue these small countries are endeavouring to solve.  As the populations grow, the amount of land available for landfill sites shrinks and the contamination by toxic and hazardous waste increases.  Again the cost to the islands of solving these problems is high and directly impacts their economies.

Fresh Water the cost involved setting up infrastructure to safeguard watershed areas and avoid contamination of groundwater.  Because of regular droughts, the protection of water supplies is paramount to economic sustainability.

The high cost of importing fossil fuels made the creation of economies of scale virtually impossible, and the UN highlighted the need to change to low-carbon-emitting renewable energy.  The almost all-year-round sunshine enjoyed by these island states meant that renewable energy was a practical and cost effective solution.  The lower cost of solar energy would stop the ongoing bleed of GDP.

The Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) which was adopted in 1994 has been so successful that it is now used as the model for the ongoing creation of sustainability although it was upgraded and amended at the Mauritius conference (The Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI)) in 2005.

In 2014 Apia Samoa hosted The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States which drew the world’s attention to the plight of these small island countries and set in motion.

The SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA Pathway) whereby units were established within the UN not only to monitor successful moves toward sustainable development but also to provide technical assistance and advice.


Many of these island countries have made real progress in solving their difficulties. However, they all continue to struggle as world crisis after crisis negates their efforts and further widens the gap between rich and poor.

List of SIDS

Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea: (AIMS Region)

  • Cape Verde
  • Comoros
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Säo Tomé and Principe
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore

The Caribbean region

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago

The Pacific region

  • Cook Islands
  • Fiji
  • The Federated States of Micronesia
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are one of the most popular tropical holiday destinations in the South Pacific. With some of the best beaches and lagoons in the world, many travellers come and enjoy their vacation of a lifetime. Many of the...


Grenada an island country, where the untouched beauty and the warm locals, make every tourist’s experience desirable. It is referred to the Spice of the Caribbean as they have an abundance of nutmeg and mace crop production. Visitors appreciate the stretches...

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

St. Vincent & The Grenadines is one important destination in the Caribbean Islands. The island country comes with lush tropical rainforest and tons of ecological adventures. They offer idyllic beaches, turquoise lagoons, coral reefs and varied landscapes. If you are...

Marshall Islands

The Republic of the Marshall Islands comprises of 29 atolls and several islets in the central Pacific Ocean. They have five islands subdivided into two island chains. Touring this place will take you through the air of tangy sea salt,...

Saint Lucia

This sovereign island country in the Eastern Caribbean is almost in the Atlantic Ocean, but not quite.  It is part of the Lesser Antilles and enjoys a limited union with the islands of Dominica, Grenada, and St. Vincent which is...


The Federated States of Micronesia comprises of 607 islands, which is spread over a million square miles of the Pacific and lies between Indonesia and Hawaii. Only 65 islands have human inhabitance and the four states of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei...


The Republic of Kiribati features sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. It comprises of 30 coral islands across Pacific. The islands are remote and have developed slowly economically, which is why the tourism industry is yet to prosper as well. On...


Cuba is an adventurous island to tour through, as you get a blend of shabby and neat, a mix of poverty and luxury. It makes your tour a roller-coaster ride as you go through several unexpected experiences. It is one...

Antigua and Barbuda

The Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles mark the separation of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.  Antigua and Barbuda as part of the Lesser Antilles lie 650 km south-east of Puerto Rico.  The two islands of Barbuda and...

The Bahamas

Location and geography The Bahamas archipelago lies 970km (500 miles) south-west of the coast of Florida.  Its 700 low-lying islets and atolls boast the third longest coral reef in the world containing more than 14% of the earth’s coral.  Because...