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BPOA (1994) - Barbados Programme of Action
25 Apr 1994 - 6 May 1994
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Established by UN General Assembly resolution 47/189, the UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS was held in Barbados from 25 April to 6 May 1994.

Outcome of the BPOA

The Conference reaffirmed the principles and commitments to sustainable development embodied in Agenda 21 and translated these into specific policies, actions and measures to be taken at the national, regional and international levels.  The Conference also adopted the Barbados Declaration, a statement of political will underpinning the commitments contained in the BPOA.

Structure of the BPOA

The Conference adopted the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS (BPOA), a 14-point programme that identifies priority areas and specific actions necessary for addressing the special challenges faced by SIDS. The priority areas are:
  • climate change and sea- level rise
  • natural and environmental disasters
  • management of wastes
  • coastal and marine resources
  • freshwater resources
  • resources
  • energy resources
  • tourism resources
  • biodiversity resources
  • national institutions and administrative capacity
  • regional institutions and technical cooperation
  • transport and communication
  • science and technology
  • human resource development
The BPOA further identified cross-sectoral areas requiring attention: capacity building; institutional development at the national, regional and international levels; cooperation in the transfer of environmentally sound technologies; trade and economic diversification; and finance. The comprehensive structure of the BPOA elaborates principles and sets out specific strategies at national, regional and international levels over the short, medium and long terms in support of the sustainable development of SIDS.

SIDS-specific challenges

The BPOA highlights the special challenges and constraints that cause major set-backs to the socio-economic development of SIDS, some of which had already been addressed in Agenda 21, including small size and geographic isolation that prevent economies of scale. In addition, the BPOA underlines the excessive dependence of SIDS on international trade; high population density, which increases the pressure on already limited resources; overuse of resources and premature depletion; relatively small watersheds and threatened supplies of fresh water; costly public administration and infrastructure; and limited institutional capacities and domestic markets.

Monitoring of the BPOA

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was given the responsibility to follow up on the implementation of the BPOA and review progress in the context of its Multi-Year thematic Programme of Work.
Outcome Documents
Meeting reports
United Nations