Small Island States call for greater regional cooperation – IUCN

10 July 2008 | International news release

A new report from IUCN shows that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) want to see better regional cooperation in the fight to counter the impacts of climate change.

The report, Island Voices – Island Choices, surveyed a cross-section of government, private sector and NGO representatives from SIDS across the world. It found that SIDS are more concerned about adapting to climate change and the threats to biodiversity from climate change than ever before.

“People want to be empowered through good governance and knowledge sharing in order to effectively address climate change impacts and preserve nature and nature’s services.” says IUCN’s Radhika Murti. “By ignoring such issues immense pressure is placed on the environment to sustain island livelihoods, therefore making it more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.”

One of the best ways to advance the ability of SIDS to preserve their environment and to adapt to climate change has been identified as improving regional cooperation in ecosystem management and restoration.

“There’s huge potential in actively sharing information, best practice and lessons learned from conservation work on small islands to support climate change adaptation,” adds Murti.

The report is launched today at a top level summit on strategies to counter climate change and biodiversity loss in EU overseas entities and Small Island States (Reunion Island, 7-11 July). Many EU overseas entities are facing similar environmental threats as SIDS, such as destruction of coastal ecosystems, invasive species, and deterioration of nature’s services.

This conference is an ideal platform to actively encourage improved regional cooperation on climate change adaptation, bringing together representatives of the EU’s seven outermost regions and 21 overseas countries and territories, as well as governments from the EU and SIDS.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Brian Thomson, IUCN Global Communications, mob +41 79 721 8326, email brian.thomson@iucn.org Wiebke Herding, IUCN Regional Communications Officer, tel +32 485 424 661; email wiebke.herding@iucn.org

Editors Notes:
• To download the report Island Voices – Island Choices, please go to http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/CEM-006.pdf