The Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Development Report examines how small island developing States can leverage ocean resources for their sustainable development. It shows that these economies are not on track to reach most of the Sustainable Development Goals and that accelerated action is needed to reach them, especially given that the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will be hard felt by the people in the Asia-Pacific region. It examines how small island developing States should take full advantage of their blue economy to foster their development, focusing on two sectors, fisheries and tourism, which are important in small island developing States and which both rely on ocean resources.
This report puts forward pertinent policy recommendations to strengthen the development role of fisheries and tourism. It highlights that scaling up action for oceans is required for small island developing States to make progress towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Enforcing international frameworks, norms and standards is one element that will contribute to such progress; ensuring greater regional cooperation is another one. Just as the policy response to the current COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of coordinated and evidence-based policy measures, grounded in strong political will and commitment to sustainability, regional cooperation can help protect fisheries and enable recovery of coastal fisheries. It can also be linked to tourism by promoting a common branding for the Pacific subregion and leveraging tourism to foster further sustainable development.