Freshwater Resources

Because of their small size and particular geological, topographical and climatic conditions, many small island developing States face severe constraints in terms of both the quality and quantity of freshwater. This is particularly the case for low-lying coral-based islands, where groundwater supplies are limited and are protected only by a layer of thin permeable soil. Even where rainfall is abundant, access to clean water has been restricted by the lack of adequate storage facilities and effective delivery systems. A common threat to the freshwater resources of small island developing States is the contamination of supply by human and livestock waste, industry-related pollution and, in some cases, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. The basic principles and specific actions that are required at the national, regional and international levels to support sustainable development in small island developing states in the area of freshwater resources are outlined in Chapters 5 of the BPoA and MSI.

Twenty two SIDS are parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.