Small Island Developing States (SIDS) - Pacific Island Countries
Day 2, 18 March 2021, 1000–1115 IST
This session will attempt to lay out the critical challenges and significant opportunities for adopting resilient pathways for infrastructure development in SIDS, considering their propensity to disaster and climate risks. It will discuss the risks and infrastructure priorities of SIDS and the delivery mechanisms that can help integrate disaster and climate resilience for infrastructure development. Two separate sessions—one covering the Pacific Island Countries and the other covering the Caribbean Island Countries—will be organized as part of the ICDRI 2021 under the SIDS Regional Forums
The Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most disaster-prone regions due to climate change and extreme weather events. They are particularly affected by sea level rise, coastal flooding and erosion, and extreme events such as tsunamis and storm surges. These regions also face development challenges that constrain their economic prospects such as remoteness to global markets, poor connectivity, lack of economies of scale, inadequate labor-mobility, low levels of development combined with rapid population growth and limited capacity to adapt. As per the World Risk Index 2019, 12 out of the top 20 countries with the highest risk are from SIDS. Further, eight out the ten countries with the highest multi-disaster risk relative to the size of their economic shock are Caribbean SIDS. It will not be wrong to say that if the threats from disaster and climate risks are not addressed, these islands could potentially disappear.
While on one hand, the SIDS face a unique set of challenges, on the other, their geography and natural resource base offer unique opportunities such as potential for growth of eco-tourism and expansion of the fisheries and forestry sectors, among others. However, leveraging these opportunities requires significant investment in infrastructure development, whether from national or international aid budgets. This includes investment in marine transport, aviation infrastructure, improved access to electricity in rural areas and outer islands, tourism infrastructure, water, and sanitation and coastal protection infrastructure. Given the need for infrastructure investment in SIDS and its high propensity to disaster and climate risks as demonstrated by recent disasters, there is a need to integrate disaster and climate resilience with infrastructure development. To reap long term benefits from the infrastructure investments, it is imperative for SIDS to address disaster and climate risks and adopt a resilient pathway for infrastructure development.
This session will attempt to layout the critical challenges and significant opportunities for adopting resilient pathways for infrastructure development in SIDS. It will discuss the infrastructure priorities of the SIDS and the delivery mechanisms that can help integrate disaster and climate resilience for infrastructure development. Two separate sessions- one covering the Pacific Islands Countries and the other covering Caribbean Island Countries will be organized as part of the ICDRI 2021 under the SIDS regional forums.