Pollution prevention and the management of waste is both a critical and complicated issue for small island developing States. Small land mass and limited availability of other resources, combined with an increase in polluting and hazardous substances due to population growth, are contributing factors to the difficulty of managing waste. Waste in SIDS tends to be highly visible, but due to their limited capacity to monitor the waste stream the true extent of the problem remains poorly understood. For small island developing States, the disposal of wastes is a serious constraint to sustainable development: both land and sea-based sources of pollution require urgent attention. 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 waste management are outlined in Chapters 3 of the BPoA and MSI.
Globally, twenty eight SIDS have become parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, with seventeen SIDS being parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention of 1972). Thirty six SIDS are also parties to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.