Sustainable Development

An Imperative for Environmental Protection

image of Sustainable Development

Report by a Commonwealth Group of Experts.



Small States: Environment and Development

Small states, especially the islands among them, have certain characteristics which make them particularly susceptible to some kinds of environmental problems. These characteristics include biological features such as rare ecosystems containing valuable genetic resources; topographical features such as steep slopes in close proximity to the sea in volcanic islands, and a flat terrain devoid of watersheds in atoll islands; small variability in climate and soil, encouraging specialisation of agricultural production; fragility of small ecosystems to pests, diseases and certain human activities; proneness in some cases to natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods, droughts and hurricanes; limited technical, financial and administrative capacity to cope with consequences of climate changes; and the closeness of local society.


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