Small Island Developing States List – Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a group of island states located in the world’s vast oceans. Because of their location, these island states share certain common social, economic and environmental challenges, such as limited natural resources, small populations, dependence on world trade, and vulnerability to natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Together, these problems hindered the development of the regions compared to states on the continent. The region’s growth and development has been limited by high energy, communication and transport costs, incomprehensible value infrastructure and public administration due to its size and inability to build economies of scale. However, SIDS has come together to form a body that unites them and strives for economic development and overall progress.
In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held a summit in Brazil and recognized the unique economic and environmental challenges of SIDS in Agenda 21. More than fifty countries have joined the regional body of Small Island Development Areas. These states differ in size, number and level of economic development. Caribbean states include Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Suriname, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Montserrat, Grenada, Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Dominica, Guyana and Barbados. Below are Pacific TNCs such as Fiji, Timor-Leste, Guam, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. Another category is in the Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) regions, including Bahrain, Comoros, Cape Verde, Maldives, Guinea-Bissau, Singapore, Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritius and Seychelles.
Small Island Developing States List
Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea, the 3rd largest island of the Greater Antilles, covering an area of 4,240 square kilometers. It is the fourth largest island nation in the Caribbean. The country has a mixed economy in which both the private sector and state-owned enterprises play an important role. Some of the main sectors of the economy include insurance and financial services, tourism, mining, agriculture and manufacturing. About 1.3 million tourists visit Jamaica each year. The country has received support from multilateral and financial institutions since the 1980s and is attempting to implement structural reforms to encourage and increase private sector participation. Since 1991, the country’s government has been conducting a program of economic and liberalization efforts to remove currency controls, reduce tariffs, reduce floating exchange rates, reduce inflation, stabilize the country’s currency, and remove restrictions on foreign investment.
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The independent state of Samoa consists of two main and four smaller islands, Hawaii and New Zealand and south of the equator. Samoa covers an area of 1,097 square kilometers, all in an equatorial climate. In 2006, the GDP of the country according to PPP was 1,218 billion dollars, with industry accounting for 58.4% and agriculture accounting for 11.4% of GDP. and the service sector accounted for 30.2%. Tourism also plays an important role and is expanding, accounting for 25% of GDP. Tourists to the island are increasing and in 2005 more than 100,000 people visited, compared to 70,000 in 1996.
The Maldives consists of 26 atolls covering approximately 115 square kilometers. Some atolls can accommodate only one major infrastructure such as an airport. This country is the smallest country in Asia in terms of land area and population. Maldives is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean, south of India and west of Sri Lanka, and belongs to the category of middle income economy. The main economic activities are fishing and tourism.
SIDS countries face economic problems due to insufficient transport and communication links with other countries. The small size of these countries leaves little room for expanding economic opportunities, so they remain dependent on other countries for development. Their exposure to natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes seems to work against their aspirations. However, the resilience of these states is remarkable as they have capitalized on their locations for tourism and talent. Thanks to technology and global exposure, SIDS members such as Bahrain and Singapore were able to develop their economies and are now wealthy nations. “We must act urgently on climate change to protect the planet from degradation through sustainable consumption and production, sustainable management of natural resources and meeting the needs of present and future generations.” – Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015, A/RES/70/1
Change is the only constant in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Achieving sustainable development is particularly difficult for small islands because they share common characteristics. Small islands are often considered resilient countries. Although life on the islands is difficult, an important common feature of all SIDS is the ability to withstand natural disasters such as cyclones or adapt to challenges due to geographical distance from major economic markets. SIDS, usually located over large oceans, are particularly vulnerable to exogenous shocks such as natural disasters, climate change and global crises, which account for 1% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
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Their uniqueness made them strong—their weaknesses shaped their ability to adapt to ongoing challenges, such as supplying food and fuel to distant global markets. Adopting new and innovative approaches to development issues through community cohesion and technological adaptation has helped these islands become more resilient. The Global Accelerator Lab Network offers a unique opportunity to go beyond conventional trends and challenges and contribute to islands in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
The goal of the Accelerator Lab is to help Mauritius and Seychelles achieve the 17 SDGs by leveraging key innovations and emerging trends, as well as proof-of-concept through experience and practice in collaboration with local actors.
Small territories, insufficient infrastructure and limited human and natural resources are some of the characteristics of SIDS, which expose their economies to global shocks and threaten their communities with food insecurity. Mauritius and Seychelles are also located in the Southwest Indian Ocean (SWIO) and are vulnerable to cyclones and climate change.
The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has changed the global socio-economic landscape, and these two islands face serious development challenges, from health impacts to geographic isolation and supply chains – all at the forefront of climate change. In an economy where tourism contributes a fair share of the GDP of both islands, further stress could contribute to increasing unemployment, inequality and insecurity, reducing food insecurity and social protection.
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Through the Accelerator Lab, Ayoshi, Avinash and I are contributing to changing the dynamics of the conversation about socio-economic development in the islands. As part of the first training cycle, we helped to build and strengthen links between local micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector, and to strengthen business and local trade for greening.
How can we solve the problem of development of our islands in the current economic crisis? Can Mauritius and Seychelles quickly contribute as a platform for training and wider development in the SIDS network? Can we experiment with simple scalable solutions in island states? We have many questions, the problems are complex, and there are no easy answers.
We began our three-day mission to Rodrigues Island, a semi-autonomous island within the Republic of Mauritius, with its own Regional Assembly and Executive Council.
We landed under a warm, clear blue sky on one of the smallest and most beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean. Known for its beauty, hospitable people and biodiversity, Rodrigues is located approximately 600 kilometers off the east coast of Mauritius. 108 km
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This was our first research safari. Despite being one of the rare COVID-free areas in the world, Rodríguez is unfortunately suffering from the negative effects of the pandemic. Rodrigo’s economy, which depends mainly on the tourism sector, was hit hard by the closure of the island’s borders in March 2020 and March 2021. However, as a resilient country, the Rodrigues have come up with innovative solutions to deal with such unprecedented situations. .
As you walk around the island, you feel as if the clock has stopped. It’s understandable why tourists find Rodriguez a stress-free island. However, despite the temptation to slow down and relax, we quickly turned to our task of exploring the island and its inhabitants. Our main goal is to get to know the unique actors waiting to be heard and to better understand how small islands can address complex development challenges by mapping local and regional solutions.
During our three-day trip, we gathered a lot of information and learned from various stakeholders in the Rodriguan community. Sir. Jean-Marie, we met the organization Agricole Frère Remy, a community organization that proudly told us that Rodríguez had once been there.
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