Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) occupy a unique position in the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are often characterized by their vulnerability to environmental hazards, including climate change and natural disasters, and their economic challenges, such as limited resources and geographical isolation. However, these conditions also provide a unique opportunity for SIDS to lead by example in the transition towards sustainable and resilient societies.

The 17 SDGs, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, have been recognized as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. While the goals are applicable to all countries, SIDS face specific challenges and opportunities in achieving them. SIDS are inherently sustainable due to their dependence on local resources and the environment. Yet, they also have higher risks associated with climate change and environmental degradation, making Goals 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Below Water), and 15 (Life on Land) particularly relevant.

Climate change affects SIDS disproportionately due to their geography and economic structures. Rising sea levels, coral reef degradation, and increased frequency of extreme weather events pose significant threats to their survival and sustainability. SDG 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, a mission deeply relevant to SIDS.

Similarly, as many SIDS rely heavily on marine resources, the health of the oceans is crucial. SDG 14 aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. For SIDS, overfishing, pollution, and acidification of oceans threaten not only their food security but also their economic sustainability.

On land, SIDS face unique challenges in sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources due to limited space and fragility of ecosystems. Thus, achieving SDG 15 (Life on Land) is crucial to SIDS’ resilience and sustainability.

In their pursuit of the SDGs, SIDS can act as global trailblazers. Given their vulnerability and reliance on natural resources, SIDS have the motivation and need to prioritize sustainable practices, making them potential role models for larger nations. It is crucial that the international community supports SIDS in their quest to reach the SDGs, and learns from their experiences, successes, and challenges along the way.


Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 39, March 2024

Coral atolls are at risk from rising sea level, what can be done to enhance island buidling processes
This article shows that hospital-based newborn SCD screening and follow-up programs would be feasible in Haiti.
climate change interacts with historical colonialism to shape fisheries in small island developing states. Greater attention to fish as food can improve food sovereignty and reduce historical inequalities
The article highlights the development schemes implemented by the Malaysian government to eradicate poverty.

Forensic Science International: Animals and Environments, Volume 2, December 2022

"Illegal wildlife trade is a global concern and a major threat to biodiversity conservation. DNA barcoding, specifically the use of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI), is widely used to identify wildlife species in the Philippines. DNA fingerprinting provide accurate identification of aquatic species and can be used for monitoring and tracking IWT."

The Journal of Climate Change and Health,
Volume 8,

The aim of this review was to synthesize evidence around the nexus between climate and health in the Caribbean, thereby presenting a more concise understanding of the current impact on vulnerable low-lying and coastal communities. 
This scoping review assesses the state of peer-reviewed literature on the health risks associated with climate change in the 21 Pacific Island states, analyzing quantitative and qualitative studies focusing explicitly on health outcomes, as well as studies focusing on health determinants or potential mediators along the climate-health pathway. 
This article examines whether seasonality and rainfall predict reported syndromes associated with leptospirosis, typhoid and dengue in Fiji.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate suggests sea level rise may be best understood as a slow onset disaster for Pacific Island countries and, in particular, low lying atoll nations. Sea-level rise, coastal flooding and surge inundation is an increasingly pressing problem across the urban Pacific.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Non-economic loss and damage induced by climate change in the Pacific Islands region has been reported as fears of cultural loss, deterioration of vital ecosystem services, and dislocation from ancestral lands, among others. This paper undertakes an in-depth systematic review of literature from the frontlines of the Pacific Islands to ascertain the complexities of non-economic loss and damage from climate change.