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GEO Year Book 2003  
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Small Island Developing States

Growing vulnerability of countries
Natural disasters
Management strategies
Challenges for the future

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) face economic, social and environmental vulnerability due to factors such as their size, geography, fragile ecosystems and dependence on imports of essential commodities

Some well known challenges are certain to dominate debate during the 10-year review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (BPoA + 10) scheduled for Mauritius from 30 August– 3 September, 2004.

SIDS are heavily dependent on a natural environment exposed to impacts from internal and external forces, including fluctuating commodity prices and trade regulations, and climate change. This situation is exacerbated by the relatively low Human Development Index of many of these countries (UNDP 2003) (Table 1).

Table 1: Human Development Index rank for selected SIDS
High ranking Medium ranking Low ranking
Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Cuba, Seychelles, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago. Antigua and Barbuda, Cape Verde, Comoros Dominica, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Grenada, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, São Tomé and Principe, Solomon Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Vanuatu,
Western Samoa.
Haiti, Madagascar.
Source: UNDP 2003    


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