WHY SMALL ISLANDS?
The first victims of climate change are going to be the small islands that are both inhabited or uninhabited. Appearing as a dot on the map, these small islands are often ignored from the big headlines and more forgotten when it comes to climate change. This phenomenon is going to change the future of these countries as well as the environmental status quo. With the rising of sea levels, island peoples and cultures are threatened. Small islands are often called or compared to a paradise, but the effects of climate change are going drastically change everything about these islands; some might even be erased from the map. It is surprising to see that many of the planet’s most prized destinations, places considered exquisite and idyllic, are mostly on the verge of being gone forever.
In less than a decade, climate change effects have forced people to migrate to other cities and countries, more than 52 small islands are concerned. Some of these islands are doing their best to counteract this problem by saving their premier resources and doing the best in promoting their island’s green-side on the map. Small island developing states are working towards combating climate change on all levels and in different circumstances. The SIDS is working towards responding to threats such as sea-level rise, and the degree of support they receive is a sign of how these countries are adapting to host climate change impacts in the coming decades.
In this blog, we are going to talk about how different island nations are adapting to changes and what is their stand against it. We are also going to talk about the problems that climate change will bring in these small islands, and the difficulties and help they are going to get from developed countries.
THE AFFECTED ONES
Small island nations are responsible for only 0.03 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, and yet these millions of people are going to experience the earliest and most severe consequences. Climate change is undoubtedly threatening their homeland, their culture, and their livelihood. Bahamas, Cook Islands, Cape Verde, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Singapore, and many more islands are at risk when it comes to the effects of climate change. Most of these countries have faced the harshest summers, horrible droughts, storms that have destroyed half of the island, and floods that have destroyed the economy. Though these islands have contributed less to climate change, they remain vulnerable to its effects. Let’ see how different countries are fighting climate change!
An archipelago of small islands which most of them uninhabited. The Bahamas has an economy that is dependent on tourism and its services as much as other island nations. Bahamians have a close relationship with the land and the sea. Recovering from the aftermath of hurricane Dorian, the Bahamas is all about the courage and determination of its people to save this beautiful paradise of the pacific. Compared to an apocalypse, hurricane Dorian was a category five storm that had sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. The Bahamas was cut off the world for days, and getting back was the hardest as the devastation was horrific. The loss of lives, businesses, livestock, and resources were preoccupying; most environmentalists are saying that these are only the beginning, and there is more to come as climate change is going to rob the world of its beauty. The UN has promised to help the Bahamas in reconstructing its economy and combating climate change by sensitizing the population. The UNDP has been helping the country in preserving its resources and using lesser fossil fuels.
As one of the countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, the Maldives has 80% of its islands that are only one meter above sea level. It is not surprising that the rising sea levels threaten all those 409,000 Maldivians. The Maldives government has taken up the use of drones to speed up the process of seeing the affected areas. There are over 160 inhabited Maldivian islands which are at risk of disappearing. The UNDP Maldives has collaborated with drones and robotics solutions providers, and the Maldivian government, private sector, and non-governmental organizations have helped in creating 3D risk maps that help to plan evacuation and respond to imminent disasters. It is considered that risk maps are useful when tackling climate change as they allow authorities to identify safe areas in the event of a flood and also help in observing any change to the areas. The Maldivian government is doing its best by training local emergency officials on how to use the drones.
A small island in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is one of the very famous destinations for tourists. Mauritius is known for being an example in the Indian Ocean for its democracy and its take on human rights. Mauritius is one of the countries that is most exposed to the adverse effects of climate change. Being part of the SIDS, this country has been preparing itself from facing the effects of climate change by adopting the UNDP Goal 15. However, over the years, Mauritians have lost quite a lot in unexpected floods both in summer and winter seasons. As per an article, it is said that Mauritians are unprepared for the effects of climate change as they are still fighting their way to adopt a new lifestyle, and there is a lot of changes happening in the country.
Stay tuned for part two of this blog post.