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Sustainable Development in Small Island Developing States SIDS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS) Mohamed Ali Environment Research Centre Ministry of Home Affairs and Environment, Maldives. Sustainable Development:.

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Mohamed Ali

Environment Research Centre

Ministry of Home Affairs and Environment, Maldives

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Sustainable Development:

  • “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own”

  • “wisdom to continue exploiting the available resources (environment) without upsetting the functioning and balance of the natural support systems”

  • “safeguarding the reefs for; protection, fisheries, tourism and agriculture in the Maldives”

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Specialness of the SIDS

  • Remoteness

  • Smallness

  • Geographical dispersion

  • Fragility of ecosystems

  • Heavy dependence on imports

  • Lack of natural resources and skilled endogenous human resources.

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The consequences:

  • cost of distribution and services delivery multiplies

  • loose competitive advantage

  • forced to import almost all requirements;

  • no food or energy security,

products for export/ consumption obtained directly from the environment…

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Global environmental changes

  • Physical environmental changes

  • - global warming,

  • - climate change

  • O3 depletion

  • sea level rise

Economic environmental changes

- globalisation

- economic restructuring


- economicstatus

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Coral Reefs:

The foundation, the strength, and the future of the Maldives

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Reef fish

Bait fish Tuna fisheries

  • Consumption

  • Export

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Percentage Contribution to GDP by Tourism and Fishing from 1984 to 2000

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Physical Protection



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Island geography

Gan Laamu 512.4

Hithadhoo Seenu 455.4

Fuahmulaku 411.5

Isdhoo Laamu 293.7

Kaashidhoo Kaafu 276.5

Gan Seenu 264.9


Male’ 177.3

1200 islands

200 inhabited

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island dynamics

  • Short term

  • Medium term

  • Long term

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Local stresses

  • Dredging/Coral mining

  • Sand mining from beach

  • Harbour construction

  • Reclamation

  • Seawalls/groynes

  • Island-based pollution

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Global stresses

  • global warming

  • climate change

  • frequent El Ninos

  • coral bleaching

  • O3 depletion

  • sea level rise

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Coral Bleaching




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  • threatening natural resources

  • (reefs, biodiversity, tuna)

  • affect water resources

  • vulnerability to disasters

  • reduce resilience of the islands

impact the economic and social performances

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Economic environment:

trade blocs and regional associations are closing the doors for their few export products

eroding the market preferences and export benefits.

Sanitary and phytosanitary demands or ecolabelling requirements are hindering exports by SIDS.

Economic status (LDC/SIDS…?)

“Yardstick issue”

Tend to lose preferential borrowing rights and access to special funds.

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‘Compounding vulnerability’:

Environmental vulnerability hastening economic vulnerability, combination of both are amplifying and escalating social vulnerability.

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  • Sustainable Development in SIDS:

  • Case sensitive

  • Narrow threshold

  • Insecurity

  • Vulnerable (internal and external shocks)

  • Complex

  • Pragmatic approach

  • Unity and cooperation