Saving Small Island Developing States
June 18, 2012
School of Business, Amritapuri
Mauritius was the first country in the world to ratify the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). As a small island development state (SIDS), it well knew of the risks all coastal areas faced from rising sea levels.
Now a new book, Saving Small Island Developing States: Environmental and Natural Resource Challenges, will help shed more light on monumental developmental and environmental issues the world must confront today.
Visiting faculty at the Amrita School of Business, Dr. Shyam Nath co-edited the new book, together with Dr. John L Roberts (Commonwealth Secretariat) and Dr. Yeti Nisha Madhoo (University of Mauritius).
The book was published by Commonwealth Secretariat, London and was released at a function jointly organized by the Indian Ocean Commission and European Union in Mauritius this past January.
“One may ask a question, why save only small island states? It is possible that their problems are too small to be of global concern. Actually, small islands have big problems. When the sea level rises, in their case, it is not the question of adaptation, mitigation, or migration to safer grounds; it is their very survival itself,” stated Dr. Shyam Nath.
“The stance of this book therefore is that when we address the issue of global climate change, we should work towards saving small islands states for they will be the first to show the benefits of policy and technological interventions and any adverse side-effects. Thus they can be a cost-effective laboratory for learning and doing, for achieving a sustainable world,” he added.
Work on the book began in 2007 with series of discussions with experts in environmental economics and management in universities in the UK, USA, Japan, India and Australia. Several of these experts contributed with their own chapters in the book.
Originally meant to be a textbook for masters-level students of public administration in Mauritius, the book is now being seen as a best-practice environmental management manual for policymakers.
“So much can still be done; thinking globally but acting locally is a principled response, even by the SIDS. In Saving Small Island Developing States, we now also have a handy manual that explains how such measures can be analysed and operationalised,” stated Prof. Godfrey Baldacchino from Australia who wrote a book review for The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs.
“350-odd pages packed with conceptual and analytic information on how to approach environmental management. Perhaps this is one of the best publications of its kind; and its timeliness is appreciated,” he added.
“Perhaps a cocktail of regulation and market forces could curb the vicious cycle to environmental ruin; and — as this book attests — with their manageable human scale, SIDS could lead the way,” he underlined.