This paper comments on the applicability of the global indicators of climate change adaptation policy drivers contained in Berrang-Ford et al. (2014) (Climatic Change, 124(1–2), 441–450. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-014-1078-3) for small island developing states (SIDS). SIDS are a globally recognised ‘special’ case in terms of environment and sustainable development issues as they are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. While acknowledging that the choice of final indicators in the Berrang-Ford et al. (2014) assessment was primarily the function of the results of bivariate analyses with their Adaptation Initiatives Index and that there is no certainty of statistically significant relationships with any measure of adaptation initiatives, this paper proposes the inclusion of a number of predictor variables for a future SIDS-specific quantitative analysis. By doing this, this commentary helps to contribute a more nuanced understanding of potential national adaptation policy drivers in SIDS.
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There is no agreement on the total number of SIDS. The United Nations (UN) does not have an official list of SIDS as it has never established such criteria (UNCTAD 2019). The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) identifies 58 SIDS, but the list is an informal one. Of these 58 countries, 38 are UN Member States and the remaining 20 are not. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) identifies 28 SIDS for analytical purposes (see UNCTAD 2019).
The Cook Islands are one of 20 non-UN Member States/Associate Members of the Regional Commissions that are considered a SIDS—SIDS status transcends UN membership and is, thereby, not limited accordingly (see UN-OHRLLS 2015).
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An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 16th Annual Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Studies Conference in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. Conference participants, A/Prof Jamie Pittock at The Australian National University, and anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments. Daniel Ferris proofread the final draft. All views and errors are the author’s own.
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Robinson, Sa. A commentary on national adaptation drivers: the case of small island developing states. Climatic Change 154, 303–313 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02421-w