Small Island Developing States

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The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS-4) will be convened from May 27-30, 2024.

About Small Island Developing States: 

  • These are a distinct group of 39 States and 18 Associate Members of United Nations regional commissions that face unique social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities.
  • The three geographical regions in which SIDS are located are: the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea (AIS).
  • SIDS were recognized as a special case both for their environment and development at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • For SIDS, the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)—the ocean under their control—is, on average, 28 times the country’s land mass.
  • Issues: They are highly vulnerable developing countries as they suffer from low economic diversification, often characterised by high dependence on tourism and remittances, volatility due to fluctuations in private income flows and the prices of raw materials, and debt stress situations.
  • For many SIDS, the majority of the natural resources they have access to come from the ocean.

Q1: What is an Exclusive economic zone (EEZ)?

It is an area of the ocean extending up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) immediately offshore from a country's land coast in which that country retains exclusive rights to the exploration and exploitation of natural resources.

Source: The GEF at the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS-4)