Sustainable development opportunities in small island nations: A case study of the Cook Islands

Small Island Developing States such as the Cook Islands are faced with a myriad of challenges due to their size and physical isolation. One solution that we explore is the effect local sustainable businesses would have in the Cook Islands. In this study we analyze three different case studies organized into transport, beverages and pork manufacturing, and compare the impacts of our sustainable and business-as-usual scenarios using four different indicators: wages, domestic stimulus, imports and greenhouse gas emissions. These indicators allow us to analyze the sustainable business solutions for the case studies economically, socially and environmentally. We found that our sustainable scenarios for local businesses would overall have a positive impact on the Cook Islands including an increase in local wages and domestic stimulus, a decrease in imports and in the case of the transport study, a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Promoting local sustainable businesses was ultimately found to be significantly beneficial to the Cook Islands, indicating that other solutions in different Small Island Developing States could have positive effects as well.

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