The chellenge of guaranteeing sustainable livelihoods in small isolated Pacific island communities remains a contested issue. Rising poverty within some of the Pacific island countries gives urgency to considerations of sustainable livelihoods. The increasing reliance on donor support for provision of basic services in a number of the Pacific island countries raises serious doubts on the sustainability of the status quo. This paper assesses the seriousness of the sustainability challenge and provides avenues to addressing this challenge. Rapid population growth with limited natural resources, renders subsistence as a dwindling source of livelihood in many of the Pacific island countries. Increased labour mobility for the region as a whole, thus, has considerable merit.