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Small Island Developing States Programme



Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are islands of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. They are some of the most beautiful places on Earth, with atolls of white sand beaches, mountain ranges covered in cloud forest, historic ports and towns, and agricultural landscapes. They are relatively remote, vulnerable to environmental challenges, such as climate change, and generally small in size—Niue has a population of only 1,269, and Tuvalu a total land area of only 26km.

The UNESCO SIDS Programme develops World Heritage activities in these areas, providing support for new nominations to the World Heritage List, and sustainable conservation and management practices for sites already inscribed.

The SIDS were recognized as a distinct group of developing countries in June 1992, at the UN Conference on Environment and Development. The 29th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2005 adopted the World Heritage Programme for SIDS, and the SIDS have since become a point of focus for World Heritage identification and protection.


The number


The number of  World Heritage Sites in the SIDS


The smallest population
in SIDS (Niue)

Action Plan

Regional Action Plans in the Caribbean and in the Pacific


The World Heritage Programme for SIDS has been supporting the development of the recent Regional Action Plans for the World Heritage in the Caribbean and in the Pacific, as these are the roadmap in developing and implementing World Heritage activities for SIDS. Other SIDS action plan and work plan have been developed recently which will be also utilized as a key reference. 

Action Plan
for World Heritage
in the Caribbean 2015-2019

English French Spanish

Action Plan
for World Heritage
in the Pacific 2016-2020


Regional Work Plan for Culture
in Latin America and the Caribbean
UNESCO LAC 2016-2021 

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Action Plan

English French  

International Year of
Small Island Developing States 2014

2014 was dedicated to the United Nations’ International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States was held in Apia, Samoa (1-4 September 2014). The SIDS Conference focused the world's attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities. 

Outcome document: Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA Pathway)

UNESCO’s actions for the International Year of SIDS

Decisions (3)
Show 33COM 5B
Show 30COM 12
Show 29COM 5B