Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are often burdened with high electricity prices whilst being bestowed with excellent wind resources. Wind energy is the most proven of the modern renewable energy technologies and, in areas with a good resource, is often the cheapest form of electricity generation. Many small island states have yet to tap into their wind energy potential. Using the Caribbean island of Barbados as a case study, this paper applies basic engineering processes and a spatial planning methodology to determine an island's maximum potential installed wind capacity. In order to encourage repeated studies for other islands, publicly available global historical hourly weather data is identified and forms part of a technical assessment to estimate the expected annual energy yield. The paper highlights the complexities of wind energy development on small islands when compared with mainland countries and explores the key factors that are to be addressed if SIDS are to make use of their wind resource. Economic analysis of the expected annual energy yield for Barbados predicts a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for wind of 0.13 US$/kWh (±0.01 US$/kWh), which compares favourably with other forms of generation that are an option for the island.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Beaches' development on small islands has become increasingly important due to touristic appeals on their unique landscapes and natural endowments. However, compared with large islands and continental areas, the natural conditions of these islands are quite poor, their degree of development is relatively low, and they are insufficiently managed. Therefore, it is urgently necessary to undertake comprehensive management activities for tourist beaches on small islands. Three small islands in China, i.e. Meizhou, Gulang, and Weizhou, were selected as case studies to develop a preliminary beach management strategy. On the basis of a literature search, field observation, interviews with relevant officers, visits to shopkeepers and residents, tourist questionnaires and internet comment collection, this study summarizes the status of tourist beach management on small islands, analyzes tourist perceptions, and establishes a SWOT framework. A comprehensive tourist beach management system is developed with natural environmental, facility-cultural, and management sub-systems that are highly interactive and interrelated. The development pathway of tourist beach management on small islands can be subdivided into three individual stages, namely, passive, positive, and balanced development stages. Management should focus on the island's unique advantages and infrastructure building in the stage of passive development, management facilities improvement, recreational activities, policies and regulations in the stage of positive development, and balance tourist numbers against the ecological environment, the needs of residents and the tourist experience in the stage of balanced development. Moreover, the beach management being appropriate for a small island is highly correlated with its natural and/or cultural landscapes.
The management and conservation of marine resources in Seychelles, a small island developing state (SIDS) in the western Indian Ocean, is fundamental to maintaining the flow of international visitors which forms the mainstay of the nation's economy. There is an increasing trend towards empowering non-governmental organisations and parastatal entities with protected area management responsibilities, which partly reflects the chronic underfunding of the state protected area management institution. This paper explores these and related issues through a governance analysis of Curieuse Marine National Park, which is the most popular state-owned marine national park in terms of recorded visitor numbers. This demonstrates that the inability to implement economic incentives through not fully capitalising on the use and non-use values of the park has deleterious consequences for managing the combined impacts of tourism and fisheries on the ecological assets of the park. Furthermore, the capacity of the state management institution is being eroded through a focus on the development of an extensive network of new marine protected areas under the direction of an international non-governmental organisation. Suggestions are made that could strengthen economic, participative and interpretative incentives to provide a more sustainable basis for marine national park management.
Climate change adaptation planning has rapidly expanded to assist with reducing vulnerability to current and projected impacts of climate change. In Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS), planned adaptation is viewed as essential to address their high vulnerability to climate change, and planning has begun in earnest across the region. However, there has been limited analysis of adaptation planning documents in the region to assess their quality and content. This study assesses adaptation planning documents from Caribbean SIDS, focusing on inclusion of key stages of adaptation planning that were identified from international and regionally specific adaptation guidance instruments. Eighty-nine Caribbean adaptation planning documents—including policies, strategies, programs, and projects—were assessed, revealing that they differ considerably from guidance instruments. Key areas for improvement include the need for (i) more direct linkages between identification of adaptation options and assessments of climate hazards, impacts, vulnerability, and risk; (ii) identification and appraisal of a range of adaptation options; and (iii) increased inclusion and usage of quantitative information about hazards and impacts. Addressing these deficiencies may help to improve the status of adaptation planning in the region and ultimately aid in reducing the high vulnerability of these island nations to the impacts of climate change.
Climate change is causing shifts in species distributions worldwide. Understanding how species distributions will change with future climate change is thus critical for conservation planning. Impacts on oceanic islands are potentially major given the disproportionate number of endemic species and the consequent risk that local extinctions might become global ones. In this study, we use species climate envelope models to evaluate the current and future potential distributions of Azorean endemic species of bryophytes, vascular plants, and arthropods on the Islands of Terceira and São Miguel in the Azores archipelago (Macaronesia). We examined projections of climate change effects on the future distributions of species with particular focus on the current protected areas. We then used spatial planning optimization software (PRION) to evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas at preserving species both in the present and future. We found that contractions of species distributions in protected areas are more likely in the largest and most populated island of São Miguel, moving from the coastal areas towards inland where the current protected areas are insufficient and inadequate to tackle species distribution shifts. There will be the need for a revision of the current protected areas in São Miguel to allow the sustainable conservation of most species, while in Terceira Island the current protected areas appear to be sufficient. Our study demonstrates the importance of these tools for informing long-term climate change adaptation planning for small islands.
The Indo-Pacific small island states characteristically have relatively small land areas but large maritime zones that include biodiversity hotspots, fragile ecosystems and unique habitats affected by anthropogenic impacts and natural pressures. Whilst there are differences between these nations in terms of geography, history, and politico-legal systems, the majority are developing countries with limited technical and financial resources to implement laws for marine conservation and management. Despite these limitations all the small island states have laws for marine protected areas (MPAs) in one form or another. Because these countries also rely heavily on the coastal zone and marine resources in terms of subsistence and livelihoods for local communities, the extent to which the law accommodates civil society interests, and involvement in decision-making and management, is critical. Although some studies have explored law and policy relevant to MPAs in individual countries, rarely have countries across the Indo-Pacific region been compared. By doing so, different approaches and success stories can be shared, as well as legislative gaps and challenges addressed. This paper outlines the legal frameworks that provide for the establishment and management of MPAs in a selection of small island states across the Indo Pacific. The laws have been comparatively analysed to demonstrate the extent to which they provide for public participation and community-based management. The results are presented together with lessons learnt and recommendations made for future legal developments. The article, therefore, contributes to the growing body of literature on MPA governance, marine management in island States, and how to advance social sustainability.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) share a common vulnerability to climate change. Adaptation to climate change and variability is urgently needed yet, while some is already occurring in SIDS, research on the nature and efficacy of adaptation across SIDS is fragmentary. In this article, we systematically review academic literature to identify where adaptation in SIDS is documented; what type of adaptation strategies are taken, and in response to which climate change impacts; and the extent to which this adaptation has been judged as successful. Our analysis indicates that much adaptation research is concentrated on the Pacific, on independent island states, and on core areas within SIDS. Research documents a wide array of adaptation strategies across SIDS, notably structural or physical and behavioral changes. Yet, evaluation of concrete adaptation interventions is lacking; it thus remains unclear to what extent documented adaptation effectively and sustainably reduces SIDS’ vulnerability and increases their resilience.
The study of recent past trajectories of vulnerability to climate-related hazards allows for highlighting the prevailing environmental and anthropogenic drivers that operated over the last fifty to sixty years and given latency phenomena in social systems, therefore have the potential to continue driving a system’s vulnerability in the coming decades. Stop or even reverse these trends represents as much unavoidable solutions for enhancing concrete long-term adaptation to climate change, whatever the end-century warming scenario.
Using the case study of Reunion Island (Indian Ocean), we emphasize four major drivers of the recent coastal trajectory of vulnerability, i.e. changes in human-built assets, shoreline position, natural buffers’ characteristics, and the extent of coastal protection structures. Together, these drivers highlight the need for controlling the urbanisation process to reduce the anthropogenic pressures exerted on morphological-ecological systems, restoring the buffering function of the latter, and moving towards a less hard structure-dependent coastal defence strategy. Such a shift in coastal management however supposes some radical changes in the way coastal development strategies consider environmental issues (hazards, resources and services). Here we bring empirical material showing that neither Reunion Island decision-makers are keen to drive such radical changes, nor the population is ready to accept potentially constraining policies that will have benefits only in the future. We conclude on the need for further advancing the design of adaptation pathways that build on the implementation of context-specific unavoidable solutions, and thus that seriously consider limiting the risk of maladaptation as a baseline strategy.
For conservation science to effectively inform management, research must focus on creating the scientific knowledge required to solve conservation problems. We identified research questions that, if answered, would increase the effectiveness of conservation and natural resource management practice and policy in Oceania's small-island developing states. We asked conservation professionals from academia, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations across the region to propose such questions and then identify which were of high priority in an online survey. We compared the high-priority questions with research questions identified globally and for other regions. Of 270 questions proposed by respondents, 38 were considered high priority, including: What are the highest priority areas for conservation in the face of increasing resource demand and climate change? How should marine protected areas be networked to account for connectivity and climate change? What are the most effective fisheries management policies that contribute to sustainable coral reef fisheries? High-priority questions related to the particular challenges of undertaking conservation on small-island developing states and the need for a research agenda that is responsive to the sociocultural context of Oceania. Research priorities for Oceania relative to elsewhere were broadly similar but differed in specific issues relevant to particular conservation contexts. These differences emphasize the importance of involving local practitioners in the identification of research priorities. Priorities were reasonably well aligned among sectoral groups. Only a few questions were widely considered answered, which may indicate a smaller-than-expected knowledge-action gap. We believe these questions can be used to strengthen research collaborations between scientists and practitioners working to further conservation and natural resource management in this region.
Sea-level rise and climatic change threaten the existence of atoll nations. Inundation and erosion are expected to render islands uninhabitable over the next century, forcing human migration. Here we present analysis of shoreline change in all 101 islands in the Pacific atoll nation of Tuvalu. Using remotely sensed data, change is analysed over the past four decades, a period when local sea level has risen at twice the global average (~3.90 ± 0.4 mm.yr−1). Results highlight a net increase in land area in Tuvalu of 73.5 ha (2.9%), despite sea-level rise, and land area increase in eight of nine atolls. Island change has lacked uniformity with 74% increasing and 27% decreasing in size. Results challenge perceptions of island loss, showing islands are dynamic features that will persist as sites for habitation over the next century, presenting alternate opportunities for adaptation that embrace the heterogeneity of island types and their dynamics.