World Heritage Programme for Small Island
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 (Decision 29 COM 5B), and the SIDS have since become a point of focus for World Heritage identification and protection.
The number of World Heritage Properties in the SIDS
The smallest population
in SIDS (Niue)
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.
UNESCO Intersectoral Platform
In 2008, to ensure that UNESCO’s unique multi-disciplinary expertise – in science, culture, climate change, education, biodiversity resource preservation, knowledge management and information for decision-making – are productively used in addressing the multiplicity of challenges facing SIDS, a UNESCO intersectoral platform has been established. The World Heritage Programme for SIDS is a part of this platform. The SIDS platform mobilizes UNESCO’s house-wide contribution for the Sustainable Development of SIDS through an integrated approach to sustainable island living and development, emphasizing interregional linkages and cooperation, reflecting the priority status assigned to SIDS in UNESCO’s current strategy.
More information about the about the Platform as well as Resolutions adopted by the UNESCO General Conference, Decisions adopted by the UNESCO Executive Board and other documents related to SIDS are available from:
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.
List of SIDS
UNESCO SIDS Member StatesAntigua and Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Belize Cabo Verde Comoros* Cook Islands Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Fiji Grenada Guinea-Bissau* Guyana Haiti* Jamaica Kiribati* Maldives Marshall Islands Mauritius Federated States of Micronesia Nauru Niue Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa* São Tomé and Principe* Singapore St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Seychelles Solomon Islands* Suriname Timor-Lesté* Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tuvalu* Vanuatu*
UNESCO SIDS Associate MembersAnguilla Aruba British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Curuçao Sint Maarten Tokelau
* Also LDCs
List of the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.
- Aapravasi Ghat
- Aldabra Atoll
- Alejandro de Humboldt National Park
- Antigua Naval Dockyard and Related Archaeological Sites
- Archaeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the South-East of Cuba
- Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
- Bikini Atoll Nuclear Test Site
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cabo Verde
- Cook Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Marshall Islands
- Micronesia (Federated States of)
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Solomon Islands
- Trinidad and Tobago
- A Framework for Defining a World Heritage Path to Tourism: Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
- Mid-term review Pacific World Heritage Action Plan 2016-2020 (2017)
- Rapport sur le Programme du patrimoine mondial pour les petits États insulaires en développement (PEID): WHC-09/33.COM/5B
- Recapitulation MIM '05: the Role of Culture in the Sustainable Development of SIDS
- Report on the World Heritage Programme for SIDS: WHC-09/33.COM/5B
- UNESCO SIDS Action Plan (2016-2021) 199 EX/5.INF.REV
- World Heritage properties located in SIDS and in Overseas Territories (as at July 2019)
- Sub‐regional Capacity Building workshop on Sustainable Tourism for the Caribbean 08-Dec-2021
- Comoros focuses on developing sustainable cultural tourism through World Heritage 26-Aug-2020
- Conservation works at Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park completed 24-Aug-2020
- US Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation provides support to the endangered site of Nan Madol 09-Nov-2018
- World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission to Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia 23-Feb-2018
- Comoros trains youth tour guides to promote sustainable tourism 01-Sep-2021-02-Sep-2021
- Comoros finalizes Sustainable Tourism Management Plan 13-Jul-2021-14-Jul-2021
- First training workshop for the project: "Capacity Building in Sustainable Tourism Development and Management for World Heritage in Comoros" 02-Nov-2020-05-Nov-2020
- Capacity building on sustainable tourism strategies for “The Industrial Heritage of Barbados: The Story of Sugar and Rum” 27-Oct-2020-29-Oct-2020
- Workshop "Flood Prevention in Havana": Towards the design of integrated solutions 12-Feb-2019-13-Feb-2019