The Pacific is a diverse region made up of countries and territories with varying land sizes, populations, natural resources, economies and cultures. The main economic sectors in the region are tourism, fisheries, forestry and agriculture. Remittances play an increasingly important role in the economies of Pacific SIDS, contributing towards economic growth and sustaining livelihoods, including meeting education and basic needs.
Geographic isolation and the small land area and population sizes of SIDS result in unique challenges for sustainable development. Pacific SIDS suffer from diseconomies of scale in production and exchange of goods and services, remoteness from export markets and high vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change. Notwithstanding these challenges, the environment, culture and uniqueness produced by isolation has created a strong tourism industry with prospects for continued growth. Isolation has also produced resilient communities with strong traditions, cultures and coping capacity.
The sustainable development agenda is a broad one, aiming to ensure inclusive economic growth for current and future generations. Economic, social and environmental dimensions comprise the pillars of a holistic and integrated approach. The single most important area where international and regional cooperation has become most urgent is climate change. Reducing the risks associated with the impacts of climate change including extreme weather and climate variability and accelerated sea level rise is a fundamental developmental challenge faced by Pacific SIDS. This must be urgently addressed in order to contribute to improving livelihoods, economic wellbeing and health, as well as maintaining biodiversity, culture and security.