Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
colbartn.gif (4535 octets)


Gillian Cambers,* Annette Mühlig-Hofmann**a and Dirk G. Troost**b

* University of Puerto Rico, Sea Grant College Program, Puerto Rico 00681-5000
T: +1 787 832 3585; F: +1 787 265 2880; E: g_cambers@hotmail.com
** Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands platform (CSI)
UNESCO, 1 rue Miollis, 75732 Paris, Cedex 15, France
aT: +33 (0)1 45 68 4064: F: +33 (0)1 45 68 5808; E: a.mhofmann@unesco.org
bT: +33 (0)1 45 68 3971; F: +33 (0)1 45 68 5808; E: d.troost@unesco.org


Small islands, constrained as they are by size, isolation, and poverty, are endowed with beauty and diversity. Human resources are one of their most valuable assets. Following the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, and the 1994 Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, many islands expected considerable financial aid, which did not materialise as anticipated. This paper proposes that a solid foundation for sustainable small-island development must be based on reducing isolation and enhancing self-reliance.

Three inter-regional, small-island initiatives are discussed: the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), the Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet), and the Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform (CSI).

AOSIS consists of a coalition of small-island and low-lying coastal countries, and has played a central role in shaping international policy on climate change. It functions on the basis of consultation and consensus at the ambassadorial level.

SIDSnet is made up of the AOSIS members and observers and focuses on information management and networking, particularly through its website, but also combined with on-the-ground action, such as regional meetings and inter-regional representation at meetings.

CSI focuses on an integrated approach to the prevention and resolution of conflicts over resources and values in coastal regions and small islands. It combines three modalities to achieve this goal: field-based projects; university chairs/twinning networks; and a multi-lingual, Internet-based discussion forum on 'Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development' (WiCoP forum). An inter-regional focus is achieved through meetings, exchanges for project assessments, and the WiCoP forum.

While the three initiatives have achieved some success, mainly at the diplomatic and project leader level, it is recommended that there needs to be more inter-regional exchange at the grassroots level. A CSI initiative, Small Islands' Voice 2004, scheduled to start in early 2002, will lay the groundwork for such exchanges among small islands in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific regions.

Reducing small-island isolation is key to their sustainable development. Enhancing inter-regional activities can strengthen small islands, so that by working together they can achieve sustainable lifestyles, retain their uniqueness and individuality, and effect meaningful change in the world.


From the air, small islands appear as minute land areas in an ocean of blue - infinitely beautiful. As home, they engender a deep-felt sense of pride for islanders, and as tourism destinations, they exert a strong attraction for visitors. However, close up, impressions sometimes change as garbage-strewn highways and sediment-laden rivers become visible.

Small islands are unique and intensely individual. Bounded by the sea on all sides, they appear as self-contained systems. Yet this view is misleading; islands interact closely with the water that surrounds them, as well as with adjacent islands and continental land areas. Furthermore, island systems are extremely complex, often requiring special management skills.

The similarities and constraints shared by small islands have been discussed by several authors. These characteristics include their small size; remoteness and isolation; susceptibility to natural disasters and environmental change; limited economic diversification and access to external capital; poverty; income volatility; and limited human capacity (Commonwealth Secretariat, 2000). As a result, small-island development options are constrained and they present special challenges to planning and implementing sustainable development. One of the most valuable assets of small islands is their human resources, which need to be given every opportunity to fulfil their potential and contribute meaningfully to local, national, regional and international development.

In 1992, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the world community adopted Agenda 21. This represents a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development and environment cooperation. Following on in 1994, the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, held in Barbados, attempted to translate Agenda 21 into specific policies, actions and measures to be taken at the national, regional and international level. The resulting Declaration of Barbados and the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States listed 15 priority areas for specific action.[1]

This list was further refined at the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in 1999 (Barbados + 5), when six problem areas were identified as being in need of priority attention for the next five years, specifically:

Undoubtedly, many Small Island Developing States (SIDS)[2] expected significant assistance from other countries to implement this agenda. For many, the expected financial aid did not materialise in the manner anticipated. While this is indeed lamentable, it can perhaps be turned to the islands' benefit, for one of the characteristics of islanders has always been self-reliance. If isolation can be overcome and self-reliance enhanced, then this may provide a promising foundation for sustainable development in small islands in the long term.

In small islands, the eradication of poverty is closely tied to isolation. If the islands remain isolated and unable to take part in the information age and share in the wealth of knowledge and programmes, and even the important social validation that comes from personal interaction, the tendency is to continue in the downward spiral of environmental degradation and increased poverty.

This paper will discuss inter-regional initiatives that are being implemented to reduce the isolation factor. While initially these initiatives focused on the political level, e.g. the establishment of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) - wherein it was recognised that separately small islands could be ignored or discounted, but together they could become a political force to be reckoned with in the international arena - other initiatives, which will be discussed in this paper, focus on the implementation level.


Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

This is a coalition of small-island and low-lying coastal countries that share similar environmental challenges and environmental concerns, especially their vulnerability to the adverse effects of global climate change. The Alliance was established in 1990 and has played a central role in shaping international policy on climate change. The 39 countries[3] making up AOSIS are mainly SIDS, and there are four observers.[4] AOSIS functions primarily as an ad hoc lobby and a negotiating voice for SIDS within the United Nations (UN) system, where it makes up 19% of the UN's total membership.

Member States of AOSIS work together primarily through their New York diplomatic missions to the UN. There is no regular budget, nor a secretariat. The Alliance functions on the basis of consultation and consensus. Major policy decisions are taken at the ambassadorial-level plenary sessions.

While the Alliance does not have a formal charter, one of its most important founding principles is a commitment to a global reduction in the emission of the greenhouse gases affecting the climate, particularly carbon dioxide, which is emitted by the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas. AOSIS countries have played very little part in the production of these gases that now threaten their survival. By working together, these small and relatively powerless (in real economic and population terms) developing states have managed to exert a profound and continuing impact on global climate policy. One of the most significant factors affecting the emergence of AOSIS as the powerful and widely heeded conscience of the international community on climate policy, has been the recognition of the truth and justice of its cause by the rest of the world (Davis, 1996). The issue of environmental justice and the moral power of the Alliance's position are extremely important.

However, climate change is not the only issue that unites island countries, and there may well be scope for broadening the AOSIS mission. The five most important global change issues identified by AOSIS are: rapid rise in sea level, temperature rise, growing population, coral bleaching, and carbon dioxide emissions (Pesci, 2001).

Nevertheless, over the past ten years, the Alliance, by remaining steadfast to its principles, has achieved significant progress in the climate change debate as evidenced by the recent Bonn agreement (23 July 2001) on the Kyoto Protocol rules. While generally recognised as an imperfect compromise, it does represent broad political agreement on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, in which legally binding targets and timetables are established for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet)

The Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet) was initiated in 1997 as a follow-up to the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action, by the United Nations Development Programme/Sustainable Development Networking Programme (UNDP/SDNP) and AOSIS. It includes the 43 AOSIS members and observers. SIDSnet focuses on information management and networking among its members.

The SIDSnet website (www.SIDSnet.org) represents a medium for communication for SIDS stakeholders on issues concerning the Barbados Plan of Action. Hits to the website are reportedly many tens of thousands per month. The site contains information about its members, recent news items relating to the Barbados Programme of Action, and also provides facilities for comment and discussion.

SIDSnet works at the national, regional and inter-regional level. At the island level it promotes national participation and has conducted a series of Internet training workshops. Regional consultations have also been conducted and SIDSnet will work with other projects in the island regions to leverage resources and maximise effective implementation of information technology for sustainable development. Although Internet networking is extremely convenient, it can never totally replace face-to-face interaction. Recognising this, SIDSnet has an inter-regional programme to fund the participation of key persons from other island regions at regional seminars on island issues, which must cover items in the Barbados Programme of Action.

Coastal Regions and Small Islands platform (CSI) of UNESCO

Following the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the 1994 Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)[5] established in 1996 the platform for Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands (CSI). The overall objective of the CSI platform is to contribute to the development of an intersectoral, interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the prevention and resolution of conflicts over resources and values in coastal regions and small islands.

Three modalities lie at the core of the CSI approach: (i) field-based projects provide a framework for collaborative action on the ground and represent the building blocks of the endeavour; (ii) university chairs and twinning networks, provide for intersectoral training, awareness and capacity building, and also support the field project activities; and (iii) a multi-lingual, Internet-based discussion forum on 'Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development' (WiCoP forum at www.csiwisepractices.org with username csi and password wise), builds on the experiences of the field projects and the university chairs/twinning arrangements, to formulate and test wise practice concepts in a global perspective. While the platform includes small islands and continental regions, for the purposes of this paper, emphasis is placed on the former. It is recognised that there is no completely satisfactory definition for small islands, and that there is in effect a continuum with islands larger than whatever threshold is chosen sharing some or all of the characteristics of smaller islands. Thus the CSI initiative does not restrict itself exclusively to SIDS; it includes other small islands, which may be territories of larger countries, but nevertheless share many of the characteristics of SIDS.

The field projects, all of which address several of the six areas prioritised at the 'Barbados + 5' UN Session in 1999, are located in islands in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean regions (see Table). One university chair is being initiated in a SIDS, Papua New Guinea, and another has been established in the Philippines. Other chairs and twinning arrangements involving small islands are under negotiation. While these activities were started at a national level, the various projects and chairs are being linked regionally, and in particular, inter-regionally, through workshops, exchange visits for the purposes of project assessment, and exchange visits for stakeholders.

Four inter-regional workshops have been held to exchange information, to further activities, and to link projects and chairs:

All four workshops dealt with small islands, the latter two exclusively. These meetings involved, for the most part, project leaders - the people on the ground implementing the activities and dealing with the local issues, some were from government agencies, some from non-governmental and community-based organisations, and some from academia.

A telephone and e-mail survey was conducted with selected participants in August 2001 to determine their views on inter-regional meetings. The following represents some key issues identified by those participants surveyed:

Another activity, which CSI promotes to enhance inter-regionality, is to link the field projects and chairs by exchange visits and assessment visits. Regular project assessments are conducted to gauge progress and plan future activities, using criteria based on wise practice characteristics (these are listed later in this paper). Wherever possible, persons from other field projects are involved in these activities; for example, an assessment of the project in the Surin Islands, Thailand, involved a project leader from the Caribbean (Cambers et al, 2001). Through such inter-regional activities, experiences, knowledge and wise practices from other small-island regions are exchanged thereby enhancing the activities in the different regions.

In an attempt to focus on people other than the project leaders, CSI is also promoting exchanges among groups of stakeholders. While these have only been regional to date, they have considerable potential for the future. In 1998, exchange visits were arranged for groups of fishers from Haiti and Jamaica, to visit their respective countries in order to observe and learn from each others' fishing practices and to help stem continued resource destruction and degradation. The exchange broadened the experience and perspective of these island neighbours, as well as providing an opportunity to exchange information on methods, and in the case of the Haitians, it generated a resolve to strengthen their fishing associations (UNESCO, 2000; Wright et al, 2001). Further exchanges among fishers are planned for Jamaica and the San Andres archipelago of Colombia later in 2001. In addition, during the inter-regional meeting in Paris in 1998, 'Towards Wise Coastal Practices', a video conference was conducted between the meeting participants in Paris and fishers from the Portland Bight Protected Area in Jamaica. This gave the meeting participants a first-hand opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues with the Jamaican stakeholders and illustrated the potential of this form of communication (UNESCO, 2000).

The benefits of inter-project and inter-regional interaction may be divided into two groups. First of all there is the immediate benefit to individuals by enhancing their knowledge, experience and contacts. However, further attention needs to be directed towards ways in which individuals participating in such meetings can transfer some of their experiences to a wider audience back home. Second, the immediate individual benefit may also translate into a longer-term benefit and exchange of wise practices. For instance, following the first inter-regional meeting in 1998, a project was implemented to exchange a method for monitoring beach erosion from the eastern Caribbean islands to Haiti. Taking another example, during an assessment visit to Cuba in May 2001, special note was taken of the community decision to relocate further inland a coastal settlement that was threatened by seawater inundation as a result of climate change. This decision has considerable implications for policy-making in other small islands facing similar problems. As a result, a specific case study detailing the experience is being prepared for publication and distribution. Linking ecotourism projects in the Caribbean with those in the Philippines through project assessments is another exciting opportunity. The real benefits are only just emerging as the two inter-regional meetings focusing exclusively on small islands are very recent events (December 2000 and July 2001).

The field project and the university chair/twinning activities are also subjected to the scrutiny of a much larger audience through the multi-lingual (English, French and Spanish), Internet-based discussion forum on 'Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development'. This was initiated following the workshop 'Towards Wise Coastal Development Practice' held in Paris in 1998 (UNESCO, 2000).

Wise practices have been defined as actions, tools, principles or decisions that contribute significantly to the achievement of environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, culturally appropriate, and economically sound development in coastal areas. The concept of 'wise practices' builds on previous efforts, which have attempted to define what should be done through 'best practices'. Acknowledging the inequalities and diversities of the real world, the wise practices initiative attempts to provide guidance on 'that which can wisely be done under the prevailing circumstances'. Thus the goal is to define the wisest possible action under sustainable criteria.

The WiCoP forum has been running since April 1999. The initial goal was to test the relevance of a set of 16 wise practices characteristics (listed below) using field examples. During this process 55 example wise practices were posted on the forum.

Wise practices should:

The results of this initial phase of the forum showed that these characteristics represent a comprehensive list for defining wise practices (UNESCO, 2001). Furthermore, these characteristics are used as criteria for the assessment of field projects and university chairs.

The WiCoP forum, which is totally moderated and has more than 6,000 participants around the globe, has now moved into a more general discussion phase, which seeks to advance and distil the wise practices concepts, based not only on CSI activities, but on the knowledge of a much wider audience. Over 200 contributions are posted on the forum, covering the major issues of integrated coastal management from most regions of the world. A new contribution is added every two weeks, and a copy is automatically sent by e-mail to all participants. The forum provides search facilities allowing users to further select items dealing with specific topics.

A recent innovation has been to focus on specific thematic areas, and after exhaustive discussion via the forum, a synthesis of the main ideas is produced by the moderators. One recent synthesis was on land purchase for conservation, and included views from several small islands including the Seychelles, the Philippines, and Chumbe Island in Tanzania (Moderators, 2001).

The WiCoP forum has tremendous potential for furthering the benefits of inter-regionality. Obviously it cannot replace face-to-face interaction, but in view of the expense and limitations of direct meetings, alternatives have to be sought, and the forum provides an exciting and formidable tool for interaction around the globe (Coles, 2001a, b, c; Dutton, 2001; Riedmiller, 2001).

While implementation of wise coastal practices has to take place at the local level, there is much to be learnt, especially through information exchange, at an inter-regional level. For example, a forum discussion of beach sand mining practices in the Caribbean and Pacific islands resulted in an exchange of experiences, which influenced a specific decision. As a result, administrators in a Pacific island decided that laws and regulations alone would not solve their sand mining problems, but that instead a more integrated approach was called for, which would include developing alternative sand supplies and economic incentives (Cambers, 1999; Cambers, 2000a, b; Ramsay, 2000a, b).


The three inter-regional, small-island initiatives described in this paper, AOSIS, SIDSnet and CSI, do not represent an exhaustive list. However, they do represent a range of approaches. AOSIS, which has achieved some significant successes, works primarily at the diplomatic and ambassadorial level. It has focused in particular on one issue - the vulnerability of small islands to climate change. To date the successes have been primarily at the international agreement level, which have yet to be implemented. In view of the limited capacity of small islands, AOSIS should retain its focus on this issue in order to ensure that concrete action is taken on the ground around the world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This is not the time to relax their vigilance.

With their low populations, small islands are not always able to send skilled, diplomatic representatives to all the international meetings. And while international diplomacy is not perfect, it is one of the most important mechanisms to effect change (San Juan Conference Summary, 2001). Thus by working together and sharing the load, small islands can achieve much more than by working only at the individual level.

The electronic exchange of information between small islands is the focus of SIDSnet and CSI's discussion forum (WiCoP forum), although both operate in a different manner. SIDSnet focuses exclusively on small islands, and is essentially a site for information retrieval and exchange, with some scope for discussion. The WiCoP forum concentrates for the most part on discussion, exchange and consolidation of wise practices. It is global in scope and covers small islands and continental coastal regions.

Both initiatives are in addition promoting direct (face-to-face) linkages among small-island regions. In the case of CSI, this is through inter-regional meetings, field project exchanges and assessments; and in the case of SIDSnet, it is through funding extra-regional participants to regional small-island meetings.

The three initiatives described provide for some inter-regional exchange. However, this is mainly at the diplomatic and the project leader/implementer level. To date there is little inter-regional exchange at the grassroots level, except of course for those who have access to a computer and the Internet, and are conversant in English, French or Spanish - probably a very small percentage of small-island populations. Although several organisations are working to provide community multimedia centres to improve Internet access, there is still a long way to go.

There is a need to promote inter-regional exchange between civil society in small islands. Islanders relate easily to each other, for they share common problems and constraints. Most Pacific islanders are well aware of the implications of sea-level rise for their countries, yet the same cannot be said for Caribbean islanders, where there are also many low-lying islands. The best way to learn is from each other.

In an effort to enhance inter-regional small-island exchange at the grassroots level, CSI has developed a project, entitled Small Islands' Voice 2004. Subject to the approval of the UNESCO General Conference in October 2001, the project will start in early 2002, to ensure that the voice of civil society on environment and development issues in small islands is heeded and becomes an effective catalyst for on-the-ground action. The strategy will focus on the smaller SIDS in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific regions, and will gather and synthesise grassroots opinions on environment and development issues through community-based activities supported by the local media. Civil society's views at the local level will then be discussed nationally, regionally and globally through Internet-based discussion fora, using the WiCoP forum as a model. The synthesised views will be circulated back for continuous discussion and action on-the-ground. While the main focus is to achieve local action, it is anticipated that the views of civil society will also have an impact at the international level, particularly in the 2004 review of the implementation of the1994 Barbados Plan of Action.

As mentioned at the beginning of this paper, reducing the isolation factor is key to sustainable small-island development. Regional and inter-regional efforts, particularly at the grassroots level, need to be enhanced. Sometimes the inter-regional component is like a 'breath of fresh air', bringing new ideas, knowledge and perspectives. Working together small islands can achieve sustainable lifestyles, retain their uniqueness and individuality, and effect meaningful change in the world.


We would like to thank the following persons for contributing their ideas and perspectives on inter-regionality: Mr Peter Espeut, Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, Jamaica; Mr Haraka Gaudi, Institute of Public Administration, Papua New Guinea; Mr Yimnang Golbuu, Palau Community College, Republic of Palau; Dr Faathin Hameed, Ministry of Fisheries, Agriculture and Marine Resources, Republic of Maldives; Mr Arlington James, Forestry, Wildlife and National Parks Division, Dominica; Mr Sherrod James, Environmental Awareness Group, Antigua and Barbuda; Ms Grizelda Mayo-Ando, Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Philippines; Dr June-Marie Mow, Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the Archipelago of San Andres, Old Providence and Santa Catalina, Colombia; Mr Keith Nichols, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Natural Resources Management Unit, St Lucia; Mr Rolph Payet, Policy and Planning Services Division, Seychelles; Dr Rebecca Rivera-Guieb, University of the Philippines, Philippines; Ms Sharon Roberts-Hodge, Department of Physical Planning, Anguilla; Mr Hans Thulstrup, UNESCO-Apia, Samoa; Mr Jean Wiener, Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine, Haiti. Thanks are also due to Ms Claire Green for her editorial improvements to the text.


(for all 'Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development' forum references check at www.csiwisepractices.org with username csi and password wise)

Commonwealth Secretariat, 2000. Small States: Meeting Challenges in the Global Economy. Report of the Commonwealth Secretariat/World Bank Joint Task Force on Small States. 127 pages. http://www.worldbank.org/html/extdr/smallstates

Cambers, G., 1999. A Viable Solution to Beach Sand Mining? / Montserrat. WiCoP forum. http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=88

Cambers, G., 2000a. A Combination of Factors is Necessary for Wise Practice Implementation. WiCoP forum. http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=149

Cambers, G., 2000b. Conditions Necessary for the Implementation of this Wise Practice. WiCoP forum. http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=154

Cambers, G., Thulstrup, H., Hinshiranan, N. and Kuijper, M., 2001. Project Assessment: A Place for People in Protected Areas, Surin Islands, Thailand. http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/thailand/assess1.htm

Coles, P., 2001a. Coastal Regions Online. UNESCO Sources, February 2001, No. 131, p 11. (English at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise5e.htm; French at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise5f.htm; Spanish at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise5s.htm) Coles, P., 2001b. Going Online in the Indian Ocean. UNESCO Sources, February 2001, No. 131, pp 12-13. (English at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise7e.htm; French at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise7f.htm; Spanish at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise7s.htm)

Coles, P., 2001c. The Points Man in the Philippines' Last Frontier. UNESCO Sources, February 2001, No. 131, pp 14-15. (English at http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/ulugan/ulugan1e.htm; French at http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/ulugan/ulugan1f.htm; Spanish at http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/ulugan/ulugan1s.htm)

Davis, W. J., 1996. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS): The International Conscience. Asia-Pacific Magazine, No. 2, May 1996, pp 17-22. http://coombs.anu.edu.au/SpecialProj/APM/TXT/davis-j-02-96.html

Dutton, I. M., 2001. Coast to Coast. UNESCO Sources, February 2001, No. 131, pp 10-11. (English at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise6e.htm; French at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise6f.htm; Spanish at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise6s.htm)

Moderators, 2001. Synthesis of Forum Views on Land Purchase as an Option for Conservation. WiCoP forum. http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=355

Pesci, C., 2001. The Five Most Important Global Change Issues to AOSIS. http://hdgc.epp.cmu.edu/eppclass/regions/aosis92.html

Ramsay, D., 2000a. Economic Aspects of Sand Mining / Kosrae. WiCoP forum. http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=142

Ramsay, D., 2000b. Economic Incentives for Wise Practice Implementation. WiCoP forum. http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=151

Riedmiller, S., 2001. Tourists to the Rescue on Chumbe Island. UNESCO Sources, February 2001, No. 131, p 13. (English at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise8e.htm; French at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise8f.htm; Spanish at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wise8s.htm)

San Juan Conference Summary, 2001. Managing Beaches in the Caribbean: Investing in our Future. San Juan Conference Summary (in press).

UNESCO, 2000. Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development: Results of an Intersectoral Workshop and Preliminary Findings of a Follow-up Virtual Forum. CSI info 10, 126 pages. (English at http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/info/wise.htm; French at http://www.unesco.org/csi/pub/info/sage.htm)

UNESCO, 2001. Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum. Work in Progress 2. (English at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wip2.htm; French at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wip2f.htm; Spanish at http://www.unesco.org/csi/wise/wip2s.htm)

Wright, G., Wiener, J. and Espeut, P., 2001. Fisher to Fisher. A Grass-roots Approach to Improved Fishery Management. http://www.unesco.org/csi/act/haiti/fisherto.htm

Table.  List of CSI Field Projects and University Chairs in Small Islands


CSI Field Projects and University Chairs

Summary at

Caribbean Sea

Caribbean coastal marine productivity program (CARICOMP): sustaining coastal biodiversity benefits and ecosystem services. (Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saba, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, Venezuela.)


Enhancing coastal and fisheries resource management through stakeholder participation, local knowledge and environmental education, Arcadins Coast, Haiti.


Managing beach resources and planning for coastline change, Caribbean islands. (Anguilla, Antigua-Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Montserrat, San Andres archipelago [Colombia] St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands.)


Socio-economic and environmental evaluation and management of the south zone of Havana Province, Cuba.


Sustainable livelihoods for artisanal fishers through stakeholder co-management in the Portland Bight Protected Area, Jamaica.


Indian Ocean

A place for people in protected areas, Surin Islands, Andaman Sea, Thailand. 


Pacific Ocean

Coastal resources management and ecotourism: an intersectoral approach to localising sustainable development, Ulugan Bay, Palawan, Philippines.


Education for sustainable village living, Saanapu and Sataoa villages, Upolu Island, Samoa.


Promotion of indigenous wise practices: medicinal knowledge and freshwater fish, Moripi Cultural Area, Gulf Province; food security, Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea.


Reducing the impact of a coastal megacity on island ecosystems, Jakarta and the Seribu Islands, Indonesia.


Sound development in the Motu Koitabu urban villages, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.


UNESCO Chair in Integrated Coastal Management for Sustainable Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.


UNESCO Chair in Wise and Locally-relevant Approaches towards the Management of Coastal Regions and Small Islands at the University of Papua New Guinea.



[1] The 15 priority areas for specific action identified in the Barbados Programme of Action included: climate change and sea level rise; natural and environmental disasters; management of wastes; coastal and marine resources; freshwater resources; land resources; energy resources; tourism resources; biodiversity resources; national institutions and administrative capacity; regional institutions and technical cooperation; transport and communication; science and technology; human resource development; implementation, monitoring and review.

[2] List of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Africa: Cape Verde, Comoros, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles; Asia and the Pacific: Bahrain, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu; Europe: Cyprus, Malta; Latin America & the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, US Virgin Islands.

[3] The member countries of AOSIS are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cook Islands, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kiribati, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

[4] Observer countries of AOSIS are American Samoa, Guam, Netherlands Antilles, US Virgin Islands.

[5] Thirty-eight of the 41 SIDS are UNESCO Member States (of which two are Associate Members): (Aruba), Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cook Islands, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Kiribati, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, (Netherlands Antilles), Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Vanuatu. Tokelau has asked for admission as an Associate Member of UNESCO; the decision on this will take place during the General Conference in Paris, November 2001. Of the 188 UNESCO Member States and five Associate Members, 38 (or 19.7%) are SIDS, 117 (or 60.6%) are coastal (non-SIDS) and 38 (or 19.7%) are land-locked.

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