Document Type



Master of Arts


Earth and Environmental Sciences

First Adviser

Casagrande, David

Other advisers/committee members

Morris, Donald


Many studies demonstrate the predisposition of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to climate risk based on geographic location and socio-economic levels, but few have assessed their negotiation strategies for international agreements on sustainable development. I examine the negotiations of the S.A.M.O.A. Pathways Document (SPD) to improve the process by which international agreements are made in the future. I address the following specific questions: what were the negotiators’ perceptions and values while negotiating the SPD and how did these influence the strategies used? I performed extensive research on SIDS history and culture to show how traditional values are integrated into contemporary policy. I developed a typology according to the negotiator’s level of vulnerability to the impact of climate change, perceived efficacy of negotiator, and negotiator personal concern for climate change. I also conducted nine interviews with negotiators from six SIDS and three Development Partners (DPs). Using NVivo software, I coded interviews to determine the relevant themes each negotiation group associated with most. Results showed that despite how their perceptions, values and socio-economic factor influence the way they talk about negotiations, all of the negotiators from both SIDS and DPs chose to cooperate and therefore ended up with greater gains on both sides and a shorter negotiation time. Due to the cultural influence of SIDS, the lack of experience on both sides of the table and the large amount of trust and comradery between the negotiators, the SPD was able to be agreed upon in a relatively short amount of time with a high degree of satisfaction from all parties. I recommend this analysis being duplicated for each SIDS region. I believe that the results would vary significantly in the Caribbean or AIMS regions due to their unique historical and cultural factors.