Saving Small Island Developing States

Environmental and Natural Resource Challenges

image of Saving Small Island Developing States
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.




The significance of environmental and natural resource analysis for capacity building in public policy design and programme planning and evaluation is tremendous.The contribution of the idea of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ by Hardin (1968) is a seminal one, which takes off fromthe property rights literature and proceeds to discuss the consequences of the lack of property rights and excessive use of common resources. The conventional wisdom predicts that environmental resources having the characteristics of common pool resources would be degraded if regulation or other policy instruments are not in force. The 2009 Nobel Prize winner E. Ostrom (1990) challenges this contention about the need for regulation or privatisation and discusses conditions underwhichthe commons can be successfullymanaged by resource user groups such that the tragedy is avoided. Nevertheless, the role of the public sector institutions in enforcing rules, particularly access rules for common pool resources, is highlighted. The crux of the need is to develop a proactive public policy and a proactive environmental public policy.While recognising the policy instance in resourcemanagement, giving a shape to proactive policies is bristledwith insurmountable challenges.


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