Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are a group of 58 states grouped in three regions: the Caribbean, the Pacific and Africa, the Indian Ocean and South China Sea region. Their aggregate population is 65 million, slightly less than 1% of the world's population, and they have a total GDP of US$733 billion. On average, SIDS have 26% of their land area 5 meters or even less above sea level. On average, almost 30% of the population live less than 5 meters above sea level. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly amplified the unique vulnerabilities of SIDS; they are now disproportionately bearing the brunt of the global decline in international travel, the fall in global commodity prices, and the overall disruptions to worldwide trade and supply chains. SIDS share some of the challenges to sustainable development to varying degrees: remoteness, small economies, limited capacity for mobilizing domestic resources, low levels of diversification, climate change, high marginal costs of essential services and products, heavy dependence on imports, limited leverage in international affairs and in attracting stable external private finance, as well as vulnerability to environmental, economic and other external shocks and crises (natural disasters, pandemics and climate change), which continue to impact all SIDS. The "blue economy" is an emerging concept that encourages sustainable exploitation, innovation and stewardship of our ocean and its life-giving "blue" resources. Similar to the "green economy", the blue economy brings harmony in terms of human well-being, social equity and environmental sustainability. The aim of these SIDS Talks is to foster the exchange of good practices, knowledge, experiences and methodologies for promoting a sustainable blue and green economy in SIDS.
The SIDS Talks are addressed to persons supporting or interested in supporting the blue and green economy, including ILO constituents, representatives of UN and not-for-profit organizations, development practitioners, national and local government officials and consultants, staff of training institutions and TVETs.