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Climate-resilient strategies for revitalising diversification in Small Island Developing States

Working paper

Image credit:Maldives Clean Cities Blue Ocean Project. Credit: Small Island Geographic Society (SIGS).

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are disproportionately impacted by the negative consequences of climate change, hindering their economic growth and diversification. Over-reliance on tourism, agriculture and natural resource extraction has left many SIDS vulnerable to external shocks and environmental degradation, negatively impacting economic growth. In order for SIDS to meet the challenges and uncertainties of climate change, their growth processes must be diversified towards climate-resilient sectors.

The objective of this working paper is to explore SIDS' ability to leverage technologies and climate finance in order to exploit new opportunities in climate-resilient sectors. It provides a selection framework and maps diversification strategies for the sectors of: renewable energy and energy efficiency, sustainable transport, climate-resilient infrastructure, blue economy and ocean-based sectors, land and forestry, knowledge-based economies, and circular economies.

Case studies are used to demonstrate progress in overcoming financial, technical and institutional barriers, and where policy solutions have been effective in particular islands or contexts. The paper concludes with recommendations on how climate-resilient growth strategies can be replicated and scaled up across island states.

Author: Preeya S. Mohan

Dr Preeya Mohan presented the initial draft of this paper at the SIDS Future Forum in March 2024. Timestamp 1:28:00.


SIDS Future Forum Day 1 Block 1