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


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...

Trinidad and Tobago

Location and geography The twin-island-country of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago sits on the continental shelf of South America, lying off the mainland just 6.8 miles (11kms) from Venezuela and 81 miles (130kms) south of Grenada.  Trinidad, the southernmost...

The Dominican Republic

Location and Geography of the Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic in the West Indies shares the island  of Hispaniola with Haiti.  Haiti covering 3/8 of the island of Hispaniola, and the Dominican Republic the remainder.  Its border with Haiti is marked...


Samoa Island Samoa is an island nation, located in the South Pacific Ocean, and falls under the Polynesian territory. The population of the people is around 185,000, but many shift abroad for better opportunities. This island nation is halfway between...


Tuvalu Island Tuvalu is a formation of atolls along with a group of low-lying islands, located in the South Pacific. It forms the 4th smallest country in the world and is a pretty neat place to tour through. During the...


Location and Geography of Singapore Lying between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, Singapore lies just off the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula in Southeast Asia.  The main island Pulau Ujong with its 62 surrounding islands make...


Nauru Island This tiny island of 21 square km is an independent country, the smallest in the world, lying some 25 miles south of the equator in the Pacific Ocean.  Its nearest neighbour is 300kms to the East, is the...

Papua New Guinea

Where is Papua New Guinea? Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean lies North of Australia and west of the Solomon Islands. To the north and north-west are the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. This large Island land mass with...

Pin It on Pinterest