Saving Small Island Developing States

Environmental and Natural Resource Challenges

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Small may be beautiful, but small island states have a big problem – the environmental consequences of climate change. Emanating from research at the University of Mauritius and with contributions from a wide range of experts, Saving Small Island Developing States introduces and explains the key environmental policy challenges and suggested responses to them.

The book is divided into five sections. Section one provides a theoretical analysis of the issues and concepts. Section two presents four previously published but highly influential papers, which have set the terms of much of the debate on these issues. Section three uses case studies to examine the policy instruments and approaches adopted by small states. Section four looks at environmental policies in action and examines the position of small island states in the world trade arena. The final part explores the global dimensions of environmental management.

Designed particularly to assist the new generation of environmental and natural resource managers in small island states, it will also assist current government policy-makers, as well as academics and students in the fields of public policy and environmental and natural resource management more widely.



Environmental policy instruments and governance

The major justification for environmental regulation stems from the public interest theory where environmental policy aims at promoting societalwelfare by addressing various sources of market failure. For example, regulatory measures can be used to curb negative externalities like pollution or to control overuse of environmental resources having public goods or open access characteristics (see Chapter 1 for an excellent discussion of these issues). We beginwith an overviewof the various classes of environmental policy instruments.Next, criteria for choice between these instruments are discussed. The fourth section reviews practical considerations for effective implementation of environmental policies. More specifically,we seek to probe into causes of policy failurewhich is characteristic of developing countries and therefore a cause of concern for their sustainable development.This part of the discussion takes us to another strand of the economic literature which emanates from the ‘public choice’ school of thought. In essence, the conflicting interests and rent-seeking behaviour of agents emerge as important constraints of environmental policy-making and implementation. The final section summarises themain issues.


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