Environmental pressures take a particular toll on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), whose size and isolation make them vulnerable to extinctions, habitat loss, and sea-level rise.
According to the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), SIDS also share: small population, lack of resources, remoteness, susceptibility to natural disasters, excessive dependence on international trade and vulnerability to global developments… [plus] lack of economies of scale, high transportation and communication costs, and costly public administration and infrastructure.
They also share some of the most fragile and vulnerable resources on the planet – their sheer beauty, unmatched opportunities for recreation and tourism, unique and exceptional biodiversity and remarkable human cultures.
SIDS are a particular priority of the Regional Seas Programme. The 40-plus small island developing States and territories recognized by the United Nations all participate in Regional Seas, while the Caribbean and Pacific are dominated by small island countries.
The new Regional Seas strategy foresees full participation in the Barbados Plan of Action on SIDS. The ten year review of the Barbados Programme of Action (Barbados +10) will be held in Mauritius on 30 August-3 September 2004, preceeded by a series of preparatory meetings.
The Regional Seas Programme’s involvement in SIDS issues echoes that of UNEP as a whole. UNEP has posted a comprehensive website of information on small islands
The UNEP Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (UNEP GPA) based in The Hague is leading UNEP action for SIDS.
See the UNEP and SIDS brochure PDF 1359 KB