Tools for Mainstreaming Sustainable Development in Small States

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Commonwealth Secretariat
16 June 2011
9781848591042 (PDF)

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Tools for Mainstreaming Sustainable Development in Small States provides a thorough grounding in bringing sustainable development to the forefront of policy-making.

By taking a cross-departmental approach to national planning, more human and financial resources would be available for policy implementation. This is of particular relevance to small states, as they have limited access to resources and are by nature inherently vulnerable.

The book is divided into four parts. Part one explores how small states can move from the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI) to devising practical national strategies; part two addresses the need for legislative change; part three tackles the social and environmental aspects of progress with MSI; and finally, part four examines methods for monitoring progress.

Contributors to the chapters range from international academics to economists, providing both a theoretical and practical approach. Through case study examples from small states, this book offers invaluable insights into the complexities of implementing sustainable development.
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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    Small island developing states (SIDS) are among themost vulnerable countries in theworld. This inherent vulnerability stems fromhigh dependence on a narrowrange of exports and on strategic imports, environmental susceptibility, limited institutional capacity and limited opportunities for diversification. The question of how SIDS can address this inherent vulnerability has occupied policy-makers at national, regional and international levels for many years.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Introduction

    Mainstreaming sustainable development is a process of both integrating the concept of sustainable development into general policy-making and management and embracing a set of core values and principles which should underpin policy vision and the development goals that guide priorities and the formulation of activities.These core values and principles crucially include the pursuit of a balance between economic well-being, environmental quality and social harmony so that development goals can be achieved and there is participation of all sectors and people in decision-making and planning.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Devising the strategy

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    • Creating a national sustainable development strategy in Papua New Guinea

      Sustainable development is the concept of the pursuit of long-term economic and social growthwithout reducing the quality of the environment; it is especially relevant to the survival of small states, although difficult to implement even if it can be adequately defined for operational purposes. The successful outcome of the pursuit of sustainable development in small states requires an analysis of the capacities for action, the constraints, and the inherent risks. One approach to achieving sustainable development is within government systems, where planning agencies are able to enhance their overall planning, implementation andmonitoring roles, by creating and implementing a national sustainable development strategy (NSDS) through consultation and participation. This paper examines the consultation and participation experience of Papua NewGuinea (PNG) in creating a National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), and analyses the constraints, risks and lessons learnt.

    • Claiming a voice in sustainable development

      This chapter discusses the role of citizen participation in sustainable development. It examines the contribution of various forms and levels of participation in achieving sustainable development. It explores some of the impediments to mainstreaming citizen participation in sustainable development, and reviews approaches that have been effectively used to overcome these obstacles.

    • A practical integrated framework for mainstreaming

      The failure to link policy, planning and budgeting is often the single most important cause of poor development outcomes in developing countries. The Pacific Island Leaders have endorsed two separate frameworks to help address the challenge of national development. The first is through co-ordinated domestic and development partner resources: the second is through national sustainable development strategy (NSDS) and ecosystem-based management (EBM) frameworks. Strengthening of NSDS has been promoted as part of improving national planning and budgetary processes, while EBM has been promoted as part of efforts for resource and environmental conservation. The Leaders have also endorsed the ForumEight Principles of Good Governance. One of the core principles of this is the use of medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) for allocation of domestic resources to priority policy areas. Countries have made efforts to implement these, usually independently, a result of which is the continued concern about the countries’ abilities systematically to develop and implement development strategies and effectively to use limited domestic resources and development partner support to produce development outcomes.

    • Regional approaches in sustainable development

      This chapter examines the role of regional co-operation inmaking progresswith theMauritius Strategy of Implementation (MSI). It examines historical features of regional co-operation in small island developing states (SIDS) and the role of the United Nations (UN) in capacity development. It illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of co-operation in SIDS as part of wider South-South co-operation. Regional co-operation operates within the SIDS geographically contiguous states such as in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). This reveals the current reality and future opportunities for promoting a more effective sustainable development strategywithin SIDS and through thewider policies and programmes in the fields of environment, economics, trade and social development by complementary partnerships and networks across the SIDS and the other countries and territories in their regions.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Laws, finance and economics

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    • National laws as an instrument for the implementation of treaty obligations

      The growth of modern environmental diplomacy over the past three decades or so has led to a growth in the number of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), partly in response to concerns about global environmental issues and partly out of a recognition by the international community that such problems cannot be solved by an individual country, irrespective of how strong it may be, but only by collective action among nations. It is through these treaties, conventions and agreements that environmental norms and standards are established and applied. Many of these MEAs have been signed, acceded to and ratified by the Caribbean SIDS, in particular since 1992. The coverage of these MEAs is extensive and addresses a wide spectrum of environmental and natural resources issues which are critical to the environmental and sustainable development of Caribbean SIDS. A selection of some of the most important MEAs which are relevant to the environmental and sustainable use of natural resources in the Caribbean are clustered and presented in Table 6.1.The clusters identified cover, inter alia,wildlife and biodiversity conservation; the protection of traditional knowledge;marine and coastal resources, theirmanagement and protection and marine safety; the protection of atmospheric systems (i.e. ozone depletion and climate change); sustainable landmanagement;waste and chemicalmanagement; and the protection of human health and environmental and cultural and natural heritage.

    • Financing sustainable development in small island developing states

      In this chapter, sustainable development is interpreted in the broad sense of the improvement of the socio-economic circumstances of the poor without compromising the quality of the environmental resources of succeeding generations. Further, the poormust participate integrally in the formulation and implementation of policies directed toward eradicating their poverty while fostering environmental sustainability.

    • Applying resource economics to integrate sustainable development principles in SIDS

      Though small island developing states (SIDS) are defined in Agenda 21 (Chapter 17) as ecologically fragile and vulnerable entities (measured by the number of natural disasters), whose small size, limited resources, geographic dispersion and isolation frommarkets (measured in terms of transportation costs), place them at a disadvantage economically and prevent economies of scale (mainly linked to domestic population) generally, it is important to note that SIDS are a complex mix of heterogeneous islands and countries (see Encontre, 2004). Furthermore, froma social and economic standpoint SIDS exhibit significant diversity,with some such as Bahrain,Malta and Singapore, beingwell developed,with low HIV/AIDS rates1, crime and incidence of natural disasters, but the reverse situation tends to be present in others such as the Comoros and Guinea Bissau with relatively high crime and HIV rates, and States like the Maldives, Seychelles, and Mauritius that are subject to natural disasters. Comparisons, as seen in Table 8.1, with regards to other socio-economic variables demonstrate wide dispersions amongst SIDS and emphasise the contrasting states and trends in social and economic characteristics as evidence of inherent vulnerability and the performance of some in overcoming these challenges (Briguglio, et al., 2005; Prasad, 2007). At the same time, the threat of global warming is a distinct challenge with the need to reconcile and synergise conservation of SIDS’s environmental and natural resources with their development policies, programmes, and plans in the face of globalisation and profound economic changes.

    • Mainstreaming of sustainable development in national and sectoral budgets

      Since its popularisation in the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) report (1987), sustainable development (SD)1 has come to mean many things to many different people. For example, somewriters have tended, based on their narrowfocus on production parameters, to view SD as a process of achieving a buoyant economy with continued economic growth (Stepanov, 2004; Adesanya, 2004; Runnalls, 2008). Others have tended to focus on the biophysical environment and contend that the major tenet of SD is achieving ecological balance (Taranets and Alyona, 2004). However, the process goes beyondwhat is expressed in these two narrowperspectives, to includewhat humanity and nature require for their coexistence currently and in the future. This last perspective is particularly evident in Our Common Future which states that SD is ‘a process in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential tomeet human needs and aspirations’ (WCED, 1987:43). Despite the varying definitions, what remains consistent is the need to address interconnected issues, inclusive of environmental degradation, hunger, resource inequality and deprivation, and poverty. These issues remain pivotal to social and economic advancement, and environmental protection. As such, for SD to have any practicalmeaning for the average citizen, it must encapsulate the principles of human development, equity and social justice, pursued within the restraints of life’s support systems on our planet (Kates, et al., 2005).

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Social and environmental perspectives

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    • Youth perspectives on sustainable development for SIDS

      Sustainable development in small island countries cannot be adequately addressed without including one very important stakeholder – the young people. Island youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow, inmany cases they are also highly engaged todaywith the current issues facing their countries.Young people represent a special segment of society; they are dynamic and innovative but they often lack the concrete skills and tools necessary to implement their ideas. Furthermore, young islanders are highlymobile,withmany leaving their islands to pursue employment or education in other countries.The effective engagement of this energetic group in small islands requires a balance between providing guidance and support on the one hand, and on the other, encouraging youth-led project development and implementation that creates opportunities at home.

    • Towards social development in SIDS

      Since the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden in June 1972, there has been a pronounced shift away from a preoccupation with economic growth to a more integrated perspective, encompassing all matters relating to the development of the person1. This expanded view of development has been crystallised through a series of UN Conferences held between 1985 and 20052. The participatory and consultative nature of these events has helped to build global consensus that economic growth is not a sufficient condition for the attainment of social development and cannot be sustained in the absence of social development and environmental protection. Equally importantly, the events have prompted the adoption of a more inclusive decision-making process at the national and global level involving state and non-state actors.

    • A review of environmental impact assessment and sustainable development in small island states

      Small islands states (SIDS) spread across the planet form a distinctive group which share many characteristics and whose vulnerability and special situation has been recognised by the international community (Payet, 2007). The sustainability of SIDS in particular drew the attention of the international community in 1989 when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution (GA44/206) on SIDS,which later became enshrined in Agenda 21, Chapter 17G (UN, 1992).Thiswas further recognised by the 1994 Barbados Programme of Action for Small Island States (BPOA) and the 2005Mauritius International Meeting of the Small Island States (Koonjul, 2004; UN, 2005)

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Monitoring progress

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    • Indicators of sustainable development and SIDS

      Indicators of Sustainable Development are intended to measure the extent to which society is moving towards or away from sustainable development. The main attraction of indicators is that they can be used to represent complicated phenomena in a measurable format and this permits comparisons over time within a particular country or region or across countries or regions.

    • The MDGs and SIDS: Issues of performance and use

      The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)1 were designed to provide a toolbox for monitoring progress in sustainable development and for guiding investment. The framework of the MDGs covers 8 Goals, 18 Targets and 48 indicatorswhich are included within the UN Statistics Division database. The 8 Goals are to

    • The sustainable small state

      This chapter offers the basis for identifying the characteristics of an ‘ideal case’ of a sustainable small state.

    • About the contributors and index
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