Resource book on IWRM planning approach for small island developing states

This Resource Book makes the case for Integrated Water Resources Management Planning (IWRM) approach for Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It includes guidelines specific to SIDS, and argues that unlike traditional models, SIDS desiring to implement IWRM need not start with expensive and time consuming institutional reforms. The pragmatic approach towards sustainable water management promotes co-ordinated development and management of water, land and related resources without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems.

The world’s Small Island Developing States (SIDS) - located in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans - have unique ecological, geographical, hydrological, economic and cultural characteristics. SIDS are renowned for their natural tropical beauty, and a good number of SIDS’ economies are built around tourism, a major consumer of freshwater. Typically with small land masses, small populations and a narrow base of livelihood options, most SIDS lack the economic, institutional and human-resource capacity of larger countries with broadbased economies. SIDS are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which include extreme weather and sea-level rise. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)—the systematic process of sustainably developing, allocating and monitoring the use of water resources in the context of social, economic and environmental objectives is key to development in SIDS. Successful IWRM approaches for SIDS must take into account these special characteristics, as well as local cultural and social contexts.

This publication will complement existing IWRM initiatives in SIDS. It will serve as an inspiration and practical guidance tool for those concerned with water planning and management, including coastal zone management practitioners; representatives of public-sector agencies in the water sector; organizations dealing with watersheds and catchments; and community groups interested in improving the quality and quantity of water in their locality.

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