Small Island Developing States

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – also known as Great Ocean States – are some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.

Small Island Developing States

The SIDS are recognized by the UN as a specific priority group of countries. Their small size, remoteness and limited resource bases mean they tend to share a number of unique challenges for sustainable development. The SIDS are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and to natural disasters, which may become more frequent and more intense in the future.

Whilst the UN SAMOA (SIDS Accelerated Modalities Of Action) Pathway highlights the importance of science and technology for these countries, science institutions in SIDS countries often have limited capacity. The ISC works to mobilize the scientific community in Small Island Developing States, and to ensure that research on and from the SIDS is brought to the attention of global policy-makers.

Small Island Developing States Liaison Committee

The Council’s Small Island Developing States Liaison Committee comprises scientists with diverse experience at the science-policy nexus, each based in different Small Island States around the world. The Committee is consulted on strategic matters, such as mobilizing input from the SIDS scientific community for the UN Decade of Ocean Science in Sustainable Development. Members will also work to bring other matters to the attention of the ISC or its advisory committees, so that representation of the SIDS scientific community is strengthened across the Council’s activities.

Preparations underway for the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States

The United Nations General Assembly reaffirmed its call to convene in 2024, the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States which will be aimed at assessing the ability of small island developing States to achieve sustainable development, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The fourth International Conference on SIDS will be hosted by Antigua & Barbuda and it will bring world leaders together to agree on a bold new programme of action for SIDS. This new ten-year plan aims to focus on practical and impactful solutions to keep SIDS afloat and give their citizens a sustainable and safe future.

Against this backdrop, the International Science Council, with support from the expertise of its SIDS Liaison Committee, sees its main role in providing evidence-based, politically independent, and actionable scientific guidance to decision-makers by drawing on the scientific community in Small Island Developing States and emphasizing the importance of science and technology for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in these countries.

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Partnerships for the SAMOA Pathway

The ISC engages with the scientific community to implement partnerships within the framework of the SAMOA Pathway. To this end, ISC President Peter Gluckman, and Former Senior Science and Policy Officer Lucilla Spini, presented relevant activities in a webinar for the science community in late 2019.

SAMOA Pathway High-Level Midterm Review 2019, 27 September 2019

During the 2019 midterm review of the SAMOA Pathway, the ISC coordinated the civil society collective statement, emphasising the importance of the science-policy interface. The statement was delivered by Patrick Paul Walsh, University College Dublin, Ireland – read the statement and watch the full session online here.

Photo: Ryan Harvey.

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