Islanders For 350
"Small islands are microcosms for our world. We are all inhabitants of the global island, surrounded by the limitless ocean of space. If we can find solutions to the special vulnerabilities of islands, it will help us address more global problems. If we fail to do so, the interlocking environmental crises facing our planet today may well remain intractable"
– Kofi Annan
Island nations get the urgency of 350ppm
The world is not just made up of large oceans and continents—there are also tens of thousands of islands around the world. IN many cases, indigenous peoples have existed for thousands of years on islands and built a rich cultural history.
- In the Pacific, there are approximately 30,000 islands, forming 19 states and territories and a total population of 8 million people.
- In the Caribbean, there are approximately 7,000 islands, forming 30 states and territories with and a combined population of over 36 million people.
- There are many other islands—including the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, Seychelles off the coast of Africa, and the hundreds of islands in the Mediterranean.
While these islands are unique and diverse, climate change is a common threat that could see many Island nations disappear.
Island nations are at the forefront of climate change
"We're sinking, we're drowning" Over the next 50 years, sea-level rise is predicted to make life unlivable in many low-lying atoll nations like the Maldives, Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands (where the highest point might be just 2 metres above sea-level). In the shorter term, Islanders are already facing water problems brought on by climate change—where Islands end up with either too much water or too little. A frightening example of this has been in September 2011, when the Pacific Island nations of Tuvalu and Tokelau entered into states of emergency as they literally ran out of water, brought on by an intense La Nina weather pattern. Scientists tell us that Islanders will experience bigger droughts and more devastating cyclones from here on in—unless emissions are reduced rapidly.
Our task is to tell a different story for Island nations
The 350 climate movement reaches into every Island nation from Kiribati to the Maldives to Barbados. The challenge for our movement is to ensure that these weather extremes and sea-level rise do not become the new reality for Islanders. Getting us on track to a 350ppm pathway is the only way that we can ensure that Islanders have a future to look forward to.
350.org runs climate education and leadership workshops in Island nations, and supports teams of organisers across just about every Island nation and territory. These teams are always busy—from educating their villages, taking action to safeguard their Islands from climate change to making their voice heard globally.
Sample of Existing Reports and Articles:
- "The Darkening Sea"—Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007): Fourth Assessment Report, Chapt. 16 WG 2: "Small Islands"
- "Pacific Island Villagers First Climate Change 'Refugees'"—United Nations Environmental Programme (2005)
- UNFCCC (2005) climate change, small island developing States. Climate Change