Guidelines, Methods, and Tools from the United Nations Environment Programme
From the document:
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 broad- based 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. To this end, an extensive suite of resources for IWRM is available. Among these tools are the Global Water Partnership Toolbox for IWRM and the UNEP Handbook on the Development and Implementation of National Programmes of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.
This Resource Book makes the case for IWRM 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. They can start small, using pressing water-related issues as “entry points”, and fine-tuning their IWRM strategies from experience. This 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.