Photo Credit Sir Mervs
I received the following email this afternoon – it is a request by small island nations for the UN to address the international climate crisis with at least as much urgency as it gives to matters of war and peace.
I think it is worth reproducing here:
Imagine the sea rising around you as your country literally disappears beneath your feet, where the food you grow and the water you drink is being destroyed by salt, and your last chance is to seek refuge in other lands where climate refugees have no official status. This is not a dream, it’s the fearful reality for millions of people who live on islands around the world, from the Maldives to Papua New Guinea.
That is why these small islands are taking the unprecedented step of putting an urgent resolution before the United Nations ahead of next week’s global climate talks, calling upon the Security Council itself to address climate change as a pressing threat to international peace and security.
This is a creative move born of desperation, a challenge to global powers to end their complacency and tackle this lethal crisis with the urgency of wars. But the island states’ campaign is meeting fierce opposition from the world’s biggest polluters, so they need our help. Sign the petition now to raise a worldwide chorus of support for this call — it will be presented by the islands’ ambassadors to reinforce their resolution at the UN next week:
For the first time in human history, the North Pole can be circumnavigated — the Arctic ice is melting quicker than many anticipated, accelerating sea level rise. Now small island nations, whose highest points are often only a few meters above sea level, are preparing evacuation plans to guarantee the survival of their populations. They are on the frontline, experiencing the first wave of devastating impacts from climate change which soon will threaten us all.
President Remengesau of Palau, a small island in the Pacific, recently said: “Palau has lost at least one third of its coral reefs due to climate change related weather patterns. We also lost most of our agricultural production due to drought and extreme high tides. These are not theoretical, scientific losses–they are the losses of our resources and our livelihoods…. For island states, time is not running out. It has run out. And our path may very well be the window to your own future and the future of our planet”.
Beyond the islands, countries like Bangladesh, whose population of 150 million people is already suffering, face losing large parts of their landmass. The experience of our planet’s most vulnerable communities serves as a warning sign of the future world we can all expect: extreme weather growing in intensity, conflict over water and food supplies, coasts disappearing and hundreds of millions made refugees.
The small islands’ brave campaign for survival is our campaign too — and the more signatures we raise to be delivered to the UN next week, the more urgently this call will ring out to protect our common future:
Ben, Iain, Alice, Paul, Graziela, Pascal, Ricken, Brett, Milena — the Avaaz team
PS: For a report on Avaaz’s campaigning so far, see:
PSS: These are the States who are sponsoring the resolution: Canada, Fiji, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
For a draft of the Small Islands States Resolution please see:
For more information about those presenting the petition please visit:
For information on Tuvalu’s evacuation plan and climate refugees:
For information about how rising sea levels will affect us all:
For more information on the Ice melt:
For more information about all of the Island States: