Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are islands of the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. They are some of the most beautiful places on Earth, with atolls of white sand beaches, mountain ranges, historic ports and towns, and agricultural landscapes. SIDS share similar interest, concerns and challenges, such as marine and coastal management, impacts of climate changes, and issues of sustainable development. Sharing information, experience and best practices between the different regions is key to an improved implementation of the World Heritage Convention. This publication will be unique within the World Heritage Papers Series in its focus on the Small Island Developing States in all sub-region, and link between each SIDS. It also offers various thematic papers addressing these concerns and challenges related to the World Heritage in SIDS.

This publication aims to inform and guide decision-makers, professionals and local communities in their endeavors to create synergies between improving living conditions and caring for the environment, both natural and human-made.

2014 is dedicated to the United Nations’ International Year of SIDS, and the third International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be held from 1 to 4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa. The SIDS Conference will focus the world's attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities. This publication will be a part of the World Heritage Centre’s contribution to the International Year of SIDS.

This publication was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Japanese Government.