Spotlight on small island developing statesParis, January 21 – Small island developing states (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to natural hazards, as well as to the negative impacts of global change, whether these are environmental, cultural, social or economic. As part of an international strategy to address these issues, defined during the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and in which UNESCO is actively involved, a meeting of some 300 stakeholders from island states in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, South China Seas, and the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans is being held in Nassau (Bahamas) from January 26 –30, in preparation for a major ministerial meeting on small islands in Mauritius later this year.
On January 7 this year, cyclone Heta virtually wiped out island infrastructure in Niue, in the South Pacific, with its remaining 1500 inhabitants facing the prospect of abandoning their island forever. And, while a significant rise in sea level as a result of global warming would cause problems for all coastal states, it could entirely submerge many of the coral atolls comprising the Maldives (in the Indian Ocean). Meanwhile, as tourism becomes the economic mainstay of many small islands, unchecked development brings the risk of environmental degradation and the loss of indigenous knowledge, customs and languages.
|Fuente||Press Release N° 2004-05|
|Contacto editorial:||Peter Coles, Bureau of Public Information, Editorial Section, tel: +33-(0)1 4568 1710|
|Fecha de publicación||21 Jan 2004|