Document / Publication
Taylor and Francis
Disaster Health, Commentary April 2016, doi:10.1080/21665044.2016.1173443
This paper analyses the disaster vulnerability and barriers to achieve sustainable development that small island developing states (SIDS) face, as well as their role on the cutting edge of preparedness, disaster risk reduction, and disaster risk management for the triple threats of natural disasters, climate change, and sea level rise. It presents two case examples: Cyclone Winston's direct impact on Fiji in 2016 and Cyclone Pam's landfall over Vanuatu in 2015 to illustrate the special vulnerabilities of the SIDS.
In contrast to continental nations, the world's 52 SIDS are recognized as a collective of countries that experience disproportionate challenges for sustainable development related their geography, small size, and physical isolation. These same states also face elevated risks for disaster incidence and consequences particularly in the realms of climate change, sea level rise, natural disasters (tropical cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes), and marine hazardous materials spills.