Transitioning to a Green Economy

Political Economy of Approaches in Small States

image of Transitioning to a Green Economy

While the term ‘green economy’ has been widely used at the international level, very little information exists about what the concept looks like in practice. What are the policies required? What are the challenges of implementation at national level?

This book contains case studies from eight small states that have committed publicly to greening their economies: Botswana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Nauru, Samoa and Seychelles. It provides insights into the success of various initiatives and highlights how small states themselves are making practical progress on a green economy approach.



The Political Economy of Transitioning to a Green Economy in Samoa

Samoa’s economy was predominantly driven by the export of agricultural products during the German colonisation period from the 1880s, through the New Zealand occupation between 1914 and 1961, to the early stages of Samoa’s independence up until the 1990s. Since the 1990s, agricultural exports have declined and they now only account for less than 10 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The decline in agricultural exports was driven by several factors, including changing export markets, legislative amendments that made it harder to maintain large plantations, the devastating cyclones that besieged the country in 1990 and 1991, and the taro blight of 1993. As the contribution of the agricultural sector decreased, other new industries started to take off, such as the fishing, tourism, manufacturing and tertiary service industries. Additionally, with increasing Samoan emigrant populations residing in American Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, USA and other parts of the world, the remittances contribution to the national economy now fluctuates around 24–25 per cent of GDP (Ministry of Finance [MoF] 2011a).


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