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Bangkok - 23 May 2023

Papers are called for the May 2024 issue of the Asia Pacific Sustainable Development Journal (APSDJ, Vol. 31, No. 1) under the theme, Sustainable Development Challenges in the Pacific Small Island States (PSIDS) and the role of regional cooperation and integration.

The thematic section will be guest edited by the APSDJ Editorial Board Member, Professor Dr. Rukmani Gounder, Professor of Development Economics, School of Economics & Finance, Massey University, New Zealand.

Interested authors are invited to submit their papers to the Guest Editor, Professor Gounder by e-mail ([email protected]) with a copy to the Managing Editor, Professor Anis Chowdhury ([email protected]; [email protected]) by 16th October, 2023. Authors from the Pacific Small Island States are particularly encouraged.

Papers should focus on:

  • any aspect of the three pillars of sustainable development – economic (e.g., stable & sustained growth), social (e.g., inequality & social exclusion) and environment (e.g., ocean health; climate change vulnerability & adaptation);
  • either the whole region, or at least major countries, or a comparative country analysis. Paper (s) focused on a single country can be considered under normal submission provided it meets the academic standard;
  • how regional cooperation and integration can address the sustainable development challenges.

In preparing their papers, authors should follow APSDJ submission guidelines for authors, available at: Please note:

  • Papers should not exceed 8,000 words including the footnotes, references, etc.
  • Abstract should not exceed 100 words.
  • Paper should include 4 to 5 keywords and JEL classification codes.

All papers will be peer reviewed, following ASDJ’s editorial policy


The Pacific Small Island States (PSDIS) cover a vast expanse of 30 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean. In this vast and diverse region, PSIDS are made up of countries and territories with varying land sizes, populations, natural resources, economies and cultures. The main economic sectors in the region are tourism, fisheries, forestry and agriculture. Remittances play an increasingly important role in the economies of Pacific SIDS, contributing towards economic growth and sustaining livelihoods, including meeting education and basic needs.

Geographic isolation and the small land area and population sizes of SIDS result in unique challenges in all three aspects for sustainable development – economic, social and environment. Pacific SIDS suffer from diseconomies of scale in production and exchange of goods and services, remoteness from export markets and a high vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change. 

Many PSIDS, although in general ranked as medium and above on the Human Development Index prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), still face persistent challenges linked to poverty and inequality. These countries still need to improve the quality of, and access to health and education. Those are important goals in themselves, but also vital for building resilient societies.

For some PSIDS, youth unemployment is among the highest in the world. This is a serious challenge and limits the full human potential of all men and women and their access to equal opportunities. In addition, people with mental and physical disability and the elderly are particularly prone to exclusion in the Pacific. Exclusion and inequality are significant challenges to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG5 which relates to achieving gender equality, and SDG10, relating to reduce inequalities. Increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is also a barrier to socio-economic progress.

Pacific island nations are among the most vulnerable to on-going climate change, with many already experiencing higher temperatures, shifts in rainfall patterns, rising sea levels and changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events. Further changes on top of an existing, naturally variable climate are expected long into the future because of global warming.

Nevertheless, the uniqueness of their environment, culture and geography, especially isolation, has also produced resilient communities with strong traditions, cultures and coping capacity. However, for most SIDS, fiscal challenges have limited the capacity of governments to deliver social services. For many PSIDS, debt servicing has diverted resources from investments in social, human and economic development as well as climate change adaption and mitigation. Regional cooperation and economic integration may offer an avenue to address some of the sustainable development challenges facing PSIDS.

More information about the Asia Pacific Sustainable Development Journal (APSDJ), please visit

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