1945

Asia-Pacific small island developing States need to accelerate action to implement the 2030 Agenda. This is especially important as, based on current trends, these States will not reach most of the Sustainable Development Goals. The situation has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted international travel, brought tourism businesses to a standstill and which, through its economic and social impacts, may reverse years of development gains. To accelerate progress towards achieving these Goals, small island developing States must take full advantage of their blue economy in a sustainable manner. This will entail ensuring the sustainability of existing ocean resources that are currently overexploited or at the risk of overexploitation and developing those sectors that provide productive employment and close links to the local economy and local populations. This report argues that fisheries and tourism are among the most important and promising sectors contributing to poverty reduction and sustainable development of Asia-Pacific small island developing States. Although these sectors are already firmly embedded as pillars of their economies, sectoral challenges concerned with sustainability and their limited progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals must be addressed. Doing so harbours the potential to create valuable synergies with other sectors, notably between coastal fisheries and marine-based tourism.

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