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PacNet #34 – Toward more efficient Pacific Island security investment: the prospects for the future

Security problems in the Pacific Island countries are many and complex. The island states of Oceania face rapidly evolving and increasingly complex security challenges, some traditional and others less so, including poor maritime domain awareness, the uncertain effects of climatic change, high susceptibility to natural disasters, and pandemic diseases. Issues related to maritime domain awareness such as piracy, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, illicit trafficking, weather effects, and emergency early warning, are the biggest concern in the minds of both island nations and donor countries. Indeed, states in the region must urgently realize that while the waters surrounding them hold important resources that can further accelerate their economic growth and development, their insularity also makes them especially vulnerable to maritime threats. Thus, effective maritime domain awareness is a critically important strategic dimension in the security-diplomatic-development nexus for the Pacific Islands region.