Friday, December 1, 2017

Mangroves Lack the Genetic Diversity to Adapt to Climate Change


Mangroves support coastal ecosystems around the world. In the tropics and subtropics, they rim coastlines and estuaries in thick green bands, providing shelter for everything from monkeys to Bengal tigers to critically endangered sloths. Considering their wide range and unique adaptations to saltwater environments, mangroves seem like an evolutionary success story. But the reality is that mangroves have surprisingly low genetic diversity, which will be a big problem as they attempt to adapt to changing conditions. New research suggests that mangroves may break rather than bend under the stress of the climatic changes to come.

Suhua Shi, an evolutionary biologist at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and her colleagues surveyed the genetic material of six of the world’s roughly 100 mangrove species, examining 26 populations around the Gulf of Thailand and China’s Hainan Island. The team found that within each species, mangroves are so low in genetic diversity that individual trees are essentially indistinguishable from one another. This means they will have less chance of adapting to a changing world than more diverse species.


https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/mangroves-lack-the-genetic-diversity-to-adapt-to-climate-change/

Thursday, November 30, 2017

New Policy Research Working Paper from the World Bank


A new Policy Research Working Paper from the World Bank evaluates the protective capacity of mangrove forests against storm surge in Bangladesh. Read more on this story and other #EcoDRR updates here: bit.ly/2Aa9ToK

Monday, November 27, 2017

Protection of the Cayman Islands Exclusive Economic Zone

As a Maritime Nation it is perhaps time that the Cayman Islands / Cayman Islands Government acquires a Marine Patrol Vessel capable of patrolling our Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ] to ensure decimation of shark and over-fishing of Pelagic and other spicies is brought under control.

Preservation of the environment is crucial and funding could be available for this purpose, as was demonstrated by the Seychelles, who was given a debt writedown in return for protecting their EEZ in their i.4 million square kilometers of the Indian Ocean. The Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge (WIOCC)
Key Facts
More than 30 million people in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) islands and East African coastal communities rely on the coastal environment for goods and services and as a source of livelihoods and income
* The economic value of ecosystem goods and services is estimated to be over US$25 billion annually
* Tourism is the largest source of income directly linked to the coastal and marine environment, the region attracts over 20 million tourists that inject US$6 billion+ into economies annually
* Fisheries play an important role in WIO national economies providing from 5.0% to 99.1% of national agricultural exports as well as sources of employment, income and animal protein
* The natural resources that fuel the WIO regions economic activity are under pressure from issues such as overfishing, overdevelopment, pollution and environmental degradation.
* Climate change is exacerbating these problems and present mounting challenges to the sustainable development of the region. In 1998, coral bleaching at an unprecedented scale caused widespread coral mortality across most of the western Indian Ocean, altering the goods and services provided by these reefs .
* There is urgent need for governments and stakeholders to come together and take action to combat climate change, conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable livelihoods to build resilience.


The natural resources that fuel the WIO regions economic activity are under pressure from issues such as overfishing, overdevelopment, pollution and environmental degradation. Climate change is exacerbating these problems and present mounting challenges to the sustainable development of the region. In 1998, coral bleaching at an unprecedented scale caused widespread coral mortality across most of the western Indian Ocean, altering the goods and services provided by these reefs . There is urgent need for governments and stakeholders to come together and take action to combat climate change, conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable livelihoods to build resilience. GLISPA.ORG

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Historic legacies affect climate change survival in Caribbean


The Caribbean Sea

Caribbean countries have campaigned for strong climate targets, captured in the campaign slogan '1.5C to stay alive.' This refers to the limit of warming beyond which the island states will become unviable in the face of threats including rising sea levels, flooding, ocean acidification and drought.

Drawing on evidence from diplomatic correspondence published in 2010, Dr Sealey-Huggins argues that the failure of the international community to adopt this target shows how the interests and preferred approach of powerful industrialised nations "are prioritised in the climate regime at the expense of Caribbean societies."

The paper also describes how diplomatic correspondence depicted financial aid being made conditional upon political support, and identifies "bullying tactics" and the use of intelligence resources to strengthen the negotiating position of more developed nations. Dr Sealey-Huggins suggests that the lack of capital resources in the Caribbean results in the region being particularly vulnerable to manipulation through the use of financial aid in this way. More

A lesson from Hurricane Irma: capitalism can’t save the planet – it can only destroy it


But there’s a flaw. Hurricanes do not respond to market signals. The plastic fibres in our oceans, food and drinking water do not respond to market signals. Nor does the collapse of insect populations, or coral reefs, or the extirpation of orangutans from Borneo.

The unregulated market is as powerless in the face of these forces as the people in Florida who resolved to fight Hurricane Irma by shooting it. It is the wrong tool, the wrong approach, the wrong system.

There are two inherent problems with the pricing of the living world and its destruction. The first is that it depends on attaching a financial value to items – such as human life, species and ecosystems – that cannot be redeemed for money. The second is that it seeks to quantify events and processes that cannot be reliably predicted.

Environmental collapse does not progress by neat increments. You can estimate the money you might make from building an airport: this is likely to be linear and fairly predictable. But you cannot reasonably estimate the environmental cost the airport might incur. Climate breakdown will behave like a tectonic plate in an earthquake zone: periods of comparative stasis followed by sudden jolts. Any attempt to compare economic benefit with economic cost in such cases is an exercise in false precision. https://goo.gl/1uBm3E

Monday, September 11, 2017

Pope Francis: Hurricanes show humanity will 'go down' if it does not address climate change

Pope Francis: Hurricanes show humanity will 'go down' if it does not address climate change

Pope Francis has warned the recent spate of hurricanes should prompt people to understand that humanity will "go down" if it does not address climate change and history will judge those who deny the science on its causes.

Francis said history will judge those who deny the science on its causes and that "if we don’t turn back, we will go down"

He also chastised politicians who doubt man-made climate change, saying they have a moral responsibility to act and branding those who do not as “stupid”.

Doubters should study the evidence of global warming produced by scientists, which was “very clear”, he said.

The Pope made the remarks as he returned from a five-day trip to Colombia, flying over parts of the Caribbean which have been devastated by hurricanes in the past few days.

"Those who deny this must go to the scientists and ask them. They speak very clearly," he said. "These aren't opinions pulled out of thin air. They are very clear," he said. https://goo.gl/Tjktbp

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Should Caribbean SIDS launch a Windies navy

Should Caribbean small island states initiate a Windies Navy for post-disaster rescue? Coordinated using the Zello App to communicate / coordinate, as did the Cajun Navy in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Holly Hartman, at the dining room table where she helped the Cajun Navy rescue Houstonians after Tropical Storm Harvey.


I downloaded an app. And suddenly, was part of the Cajun Navy. After two minutes of training, I was talking to people desperate for help.

After watching nonstop coverage of the hurricane and the incredible rescues that were taking place, I got in bed at 10:30 on Tuesday night. I had been glued to the TV for days. Every time I would change the channel in an attempt to get my mind on something else for a few minutes, I was drawn right back in.

I finally turned off the TV and picked up my phone to do a quick check of email and Facebook. I read an article about the Cajun Navy and the thousands of selfless volunteers who have shown up to this city en masse. The article explained they were using a walkie-talkie-type app called Zello to communicate with each other, locate victims, get directions, etc. I downloaded the app, found the Cajun Navy channel and started listening.

I was completely enthralled. Voice after voice after voice coming though my phone in the dark, some asking for help, some saying they were on their way. Most of the transmissions I was hearing when I first tuned in were from Houston, but within 30 minutes or so, calls started coming in from Port Arthur and Orange. Harvey had moved east from Houston and was pummeling East Texas.

As I was listening, I quickly figured out that there were a few moderators on the app that were in charge and very experienced in using this method of communication during emergencies. One in particular, Brittney, was giving directions, taking rescue requests, and prioritizing calls and rescues. At one point, she said something that made me realize she's a nurse, so I immediately understood why she was so effective in this situation.

A couple of other women (who were working from other parts of the country, not Houston) who had been taking calls from victims and logging in the information came on the line around 12:30 and said they had to sign off so they could get to bed. They asked if there was anyone who could work through the night to keep taking rescue requests and log them.

I sat up and turned on my light. I timidly pushed the "talk" button and said, "I can." More

Sunday, September 3, 2017

GLISPA and Earth Day Network

Marine plastic debris pollution is clogging waterways and beaches around the world. That’s why Earth Day Network is getting ready to announce in September the global theme for Earth Day 2018 (April 22) – eliminating single-use plastics worldwide.

As we prepare to launch this campaign we would love to connect to anyone in the GLISPA community working on this issue. We hope to find ways to coordinate and collaborate with existing campaigns. It’s our hope that the global community can see value in Earth Day as an organizing tool to push the needle forward on eliminating plastic pollution.

If you are working on eliminating plastic pollution on your island we would love to hear from you. Please see Earth Day Network at https://www.earthday.org/earthday/ for more information.

Thanks!
Earth Day Network

Monday, August 28, 2017

Apply to be a 2018 Climate Change Fellow

AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program

18 Aug, 2017

AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program
In 2014 AOSIS established the Climate Change Fellowship Program. The program brings early career professionals from AOSIS member countries to New York for one year to participate as part of each Fellow’s national delegation to the UNFCCC and UNHQ.
Each year, candidates are selected to spend a year based in New York following climate change issues, including attending all major UNFCCC meetings. Fellows are expected to spend 80% of their time on AOSIS related matters and 20% on national issues.
During their fellowship, the Fellows receive comprehensive training on climate change issues, including on-going negotiation skills training and media training. It is expected that, after their fellowship, they will return to their home governments and continue to engage on climate change issues and in the UNFCCC process.
To date, 16 Fellows have participated in the program. With each class of graduating Fellows we continue to expand the Fellowship alumni network. This network provides mentoring opportunities between former and current Fellows and allows alumni around the world to share experiences and ideas relevant to their work on climate change.

Application Process

Applications for the AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program must be submitted by the applicant’s UN Mission in New York. Individuals interested in applying should contact their respective UN mission. The deadline for applications is October 10, 2017.
For more information, please contact the Fellowship Program coordinator, Amelia Linn (Amelia.linn@aosis.org.

The 2018 AOSIS Climate Change Fellowship Program is supported by the Government of Italy.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Transformative water project in the Maldives

Transformative water project in the Maldives takes off with support from UNDP and the Green Climate Fund - Maldives | ReliefWeb

August 18, 2017, Malé - A UNDP-supported project set to transform water security in the outer islands of the Maldives has moved one step closer to implementation this past week, with a meeting of key stakeholders and a special function attended by the Minister of Environment and Energy, Minister of State for Environment and Energy, and UNDP Resident Representative.

Together the events held in the capital Malé mark a critical milestone in the commencement of the project’s implementation, expected to begin early September 2017.

“Climate change is a significant challenge to the development of Maldives, not only in an environmental aspect, but also in economic and social aspects,” said the Minister of Environment and Energy Mr. Thoriq Ibrahim in his opening remarks. “The Maldives project was among the first projects approved by the Green Climate Fund, and this event brings stakeholders together to discuss and exchange information vital for implementation.”

“As a small island developing state, the Maldives has been both a champion and a poster-child for the impacts of climate change,” said UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Shoko Noda. “The Government, and in particular the Ministry of Environment and Energy, has been at the forefront of climate action. Today marks the beginning of a paradigm shift towards climate-resilience, one we envision will be a turning point for the future of water security in the country.” More

Monday, July 3, 2017

Our Oceans, Our Islands, Our Future


With the leadership of H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of Palau, H.E. Vincent Meriton, Vice-President of Seychelles, The Hon. Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Ambassador Spencer Thomas of Grenada, alongside Global Island Partnership members and friends, the Partnership coordinated a series of events that demonstrated the leadership of islands united in strong partnerships to implement Sustainable Development Goal 14 and support strong outcomes for the UN Oceans Conference held in New York at the United Nations.

Download the GLISPA Event Spotlight: Our Oceans, Our Islands, Our Future here.

Since its launch in 2006, the Global Island Partnership has engaged high-level leaders to catalyze US$150 million for island action and assisted 35+ countries to launch or strengthen major sustainable island commitments. The Partnership now has more than 25 members and 30 friends working together to build resilient and sustainable island communities. We welcome entities interested in supporting its mission to apply for membership. Learn more: http://www.glispa.org/participate

Our postal address: IUCN (GLISPA), 1630 Connecticut Ave NW #300, Washington, DC 20009, USA

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Monica’s political diary: ten steps to a better Bermuda

Monica Jones find party politics in Bermuda divisive and destructive. She would like to see all our elected representatives working with each other and with members of the public service, private sector and labour unions in dignified and respectful ways to do the following:

Monica Jones

1, Create schools that foster peace, tolerance, friendship and understanding. Where the potential of all children is developed, with teachers, families and students receiving support, learning enrichment and encouragement to realise this goal

2, For all bickering, quarrelling, complaining, point scoring, competition and power grabbing to stop. To stop denigrating, diminishing, complaining and criticising, and instead to support and encourage the best potential of each other and our community

3, To put the interests of the greater community first and for personal interests to be secondary. For those of us who are not in governance, to allow people in public office to have private lives, personal time and space

4, To draw on the differing wisdom, strengths, talents and capabilities of all involved in providing governance

5, To remember the goal of all laws is to foster peace, tolerance, good order — to foster human rights with the responsibility of treating all people as free and equal in dignity and rights

6, When decisions are made, give them time to see if they are correct or not. If decisions need to be tweaked or rethought in business, it’s simply done. To expect perfection the first time round in country governance is unrealistic. Circumstances change and new information comes to light. Change is inevitable. When we contribute to the process, and support and encourage change, then we are constructive and create a climate where it is OK to say “I made a mistake” or “In light of new information, I’ve realised we need to change course”

7, To create a culture and climate where it is understood that we all have differing beliefs, and it is a normal and ordinary part of being alive, and to access the collective wisdom and greatness of those beliefs

8, No more pedestals or heroes. We are all human beings. We are perfect and flawed at the same time. When we put people on pedestals, they always fall off. The best thing we can do is to support and encourage respectful and dignified behaviour. To laugh, to love and be in peace. Keeping the word “respect” in the centre of our lives. Doing unto others as we would have done unto us. The term “do unto others” means something different to each one of us

9, To pass laws and put strategies in place so as to achieve full employment. To protect and support the most vulnerable people in our society

10, We all have buttons and when those buttons are activated, they create any number of stories that are not the truth of who we are or who anyone else is. It’s called “cognitive dissonance”.

This happens to everyone. When we want to blame, criticise, complain or have repetitive negative thoughts, we can choose to press the pause button. To allow curiosity to trickle in.

To develop a greater sense of compassion for ourselves and others.

To practise opening our hearts and minds.

In politics and advertising, our buttons are deliberately manipulated to achieve a certain result. If we learn how our brains operate, we become able to deactivate our buttons and are much less susceptible to manipulation because we have created space for our deep-thinking brain to operate.

The process of questioning ourselves and asking whether our reaction is the truth or not is a lifelong practice. On the other side of each question is an opportunity that creates an immense amount of wisdom and personal power.

We have to stop looking outside ourselves for change to be brought about by someone else. A wise friend told me: “Change is like a jigsaw puzzle. There are many pieces and players, and the picture isn’t clear. It becomes clear as many people put in the pieces to solve the puzzle. There are many puzzles to be solved.”

Change is a journey, not a destination.

Each one of us has to ask how we can help.

As long as we keep on asking that question and are prepared to lead and follow, we’ll keep on moving forward. More

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Climate change can cause both flooding and drought


Climate change can cause both flooding and droughts. How is that possible? Learn more: bit.ly/2kY6xh6

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference (CTEC)


Caribbean economies suffer from some of the highest electricity prices in the world.

Despite their abundance of renewable energy sources, Cayman has a relatively low level of renewable energy penetration; the economy continues to spend a large proportion of its GDP on imported fossil fuels and residents and businesses continue to pay some of the highest electricity bills in the region. This is a common situation among island nations.

There is a clear opportunity for Cayman to emerge as a regional leader in developing solutions to address climate change through the adoption of renewable energy which will reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and provide key environmental, social and economic benefits.

With the Cayman Islands National Energy Policy now in place, a framework for transition is complete and seizing upon that vision will be critical to affecting positive change for the Cayman Islands and all those who follow.

The recent achievements for islands at COP21 provide a strong driver for action focused on carbon reduction goals. Given that Cayman ranks highly among islands as carbon emitters, it is critical that we position ourselves as leaders in carbon reduction and meet the goals set out in the National Energy Policy and the Paris agreement.

Cayman seeks to stand with other islands in the region and across the world to embrace a low carbon future and to stand on the front line of demonstrating solutions to climate change while delivering cheaper, secure, reliable and economically feasible energy solutions.
Who should attend?

Be part of Cayman’s low carbon future by joining an event which seeks to set out our vision, renewable road-map and opportunities.

The event will bring together delegates from public, private and non-profit sectors, underlining our collaborative approach to a sustainable future- government officials, project developers, manufacturers, investors and key players across the non-profit landscape.

Join government official and industry leads and participate in interactive panel discussions that seek to establish what the journey ahead looks like and how we address the challenges and maximise the opportunities.

Make the most of key networking opportunities, bringing together local, regional and global participation.
For More Information and Register

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Climate War Room now has new .eco domain

The Climate War Room, an initiative of The Cayman Institute is committed to using a .eco domain, which is a new web address ending for anyone committed to positive change for the planet.


.eco is a new web address ending—known as a top-level domain—for anyone committed to positive change for the planet. .eco web addresses are available to any business, government, non-profit or individual working toward a sustainable future.

The .eco domain is backed by more than 50 environmental organizations including Conservation International, United Nations Global Compact and WWF and is a trusted symbol for the environmental community. www.climatewarroom.org

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Caribbean Transitionary Energy Conference (CTEC2017) was officially launched

The Caribbean Transitionary Energy Conference (CTEC2017) was officially launched this morning with a press conference at The Cayman Islands Government building this morning.

Remarks were given by Hon. D. Kurt Tibbetts OBE, JP, MLA - Cayman Islands Minister for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure, event organiser James Whittaker - CEO, GreenTech Group and President, Cayman Renewable Energy Association (CREA), and sponsor Pilar Bush, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Dart Enterprises Ltd. Visit our website to register

Fiji Spearheads Development Beyond the Sustainable

SUVA, Fiji, April 21, 2017 (ENS) – Fiji and other island nations may leapfrog the developed countries, becoming models for a greater than sustainable future – a transformational future – one that cherishes the natural world while providing the resources that humanity needs and enjoys.

The United Nations labels these islands Small Island Developing States, or SIDS. Others prefer the term Large Ocean Island States. Whatever they are called, in this region, both ecology and economy have plenty of room to grow.

The Pacific island Republic of Fiji is an archipelago of more than 330 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 square miles). More than 85 percent of Fiji’s population of 860,000 live on the two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

Fiji is one of the few naturally pristine island chains left in the world, one of the rare places with beautiful coral reefs, plants and animals with a crystal clear view of the stars and starfish alike.

(http://ens-newswire.com/2017/04/21/fiji-spearheads-development-beyond-the-sustainable/

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Marine Geospatial Scientist (South Atlantic Coastal Mapping Project)

Marine Geospatial Scientist (South Atlantic Coastal Mapping Project)

The position will co-ordinate / manage the ‘Mapping Falklands and South Georgia coastal margins for spatial planning Project’ being delivered over a period of two years.

The Coastal Mapping Project is being funded by Defra through the Darwin Plus initiative. SAERI has been tasked with undertaking geospatial analyses of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia coastal margins.

The Coastal Mapping Project aims to utilise technological and objective-based analyses with mixed resolution satellite imagery, spatial data and local expert knowledge in an integrated probabilistic approach. Habitat maps produced will emphasise baseline measurement, providing a sound basis for planning, decision-making and monitoring.

The post is being offered on a 12 month basis initially as SAERI is due to move to an incorporated status in the latter months of 2017.

You should be / have:

PhD qualified - or studying towards a PhD - in coastal or marine geospatial science and analysis or related area
At least 5 years post graduate experience working in geospatial science and analyses
At least 3 years’ experience with coastal and/or marine habitat delineation and modelling
A high level of computer literacy with an awareness of model building e.g. Python, R, Matlab
For more information, a detailed job description and application form, please contact Megan Middleton at the Human Resources Department on +500 27420 or by e-mail (mmiddleton@sec.gov.fk). Contact Tara Pelembe (tpelembe@env.institute.ac.fk) for job specific detail.

Application forms should be returned to Human Resources by the Friday 5th May 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference

WHY CAYMAN? WHY NOW?

Caribbean economies suffer from some of the highest electricity prices in the world. Despite their abundance of renewable energy sources, Cayman has a relatively low level of renewable energy penetration; the economy continues to spend a large proportion of its GDP on imported fossil fuels.

The Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference (CTEC) is about building our resilience as a small nation, about diversifying our energy sector and the way that we do business.

It is about ensuring sustainable social and economic growth through strong leadership, recognising the threat of climate change and the vulnerability of islands across the world and voicing our commitment to take the measures that we can take now. More

Monday, February 13, 2017

Imagine 1.8 Billion Advocates For Global Sustainability Through Tourism

Imagine 1.8 Billion Advocates For Global Sustainability Through Tourism



International destinations attracted about 1.2 billion travelers last year, and the number of global travelers is expected to reach 1.8 billion in 2030. Imagine if this expanding multitude could be a positive force for a more sustainable world both on their travels and back at home.

We have an epic opportunity this year to spark change. As travelers, we can rally around the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development organized for 2017 by the World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations.

I’m in Madrid, along with hundreds of corporate, government and nonprofit leaders from around the world to participate in the official launch of the International Year. The special UN initiative is focused on building awareness and promoting action in support of the global sustainable development goals. The goals cover some of the world’s most pressing issues, including poverty reduction, education and the environment. I am here because the UN views tourism as part of the answer, and in my role as CEO of the USA arm of Hostelling International, a vice chair of the UNWTO Affiliate Member group.

The UN defines sustainable tourism broadly, in terms of economic, social and environmental impacts, both current and future. That makes this brand of tourism different. For example, it aspires to advance environmentally sustainable practices, protect cultural and natural heritage, and even reduce poverty in tourist destinations.

We have a chance to help bring sustainable tourism to the mainstream and the opportunity for impact is massive. How big? A global survey of 100,000 travelers last year by Booking.com found that 65 percent said they hadn’t stayed or didn’t know if they had stayed in eco-friendly accommodations. And among those who didn’t plan on a stay in a sustainable accommodation, 39% said it was because they didn’t know sustainable accommodations exist.

https://goo.gl/F04nAE

Challenging times ahead for Singapore's water security, Singapore News & Top Stories


Singapore is facing a major challenge in its water security in the next 50 years, and the impending rise in water prices - which sparked debate when it was announced on Tuesday - is only a small part of the solution.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said yesterday at a Pre-Committee of Supply consultation session - attended by 35 members of industry, academia, non-governmental organisations and the public - that having a culture of "revulsion" towards water wastage was much more critical to the country than worrying about the cost of water.

Industry will have a growing role in perpetuating this culture, as it is already using more than half (55 per cent) of Singapore's water. By 2060, this is predicted to hit 70 per cent of Singapore's total water demand, which itself is expected to double by then.

Nevertheless, Mr Masagos said the Government will give due consideration to economic factors in setting the price of water.

"While we need to recover its cost, we cannot do so by sacrificing the competitiveness of Singapore to attract industries to come here," he said.


(http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/challenging-times-ahead-for-spores-water-security

Monday, January 23, 2017

Five Pacific islands lost to rising seas as climate change hits

Five Pacific islands lost to rising seas as climate change hits

The submerged islands were part of the Solomon Islands, an archipelago that over the last two decades has seen annual sea levels rise as much as 10mm (0.4in), according to research published in the May issue of the online journal Environmental Research Letters.

The missing islands, ranging in size from 1 to 5 hectares (2.5-12.4 acres) were not inhabited by humans. But six other islands had large swaths of land washed into the sea and on two of those, entire villages were destroyed and people forced to relocate, the researchers found.

One was Nuatambu island, home to 25 families, which has lost 11 houses and half its inhabitable area since 2011, the research said.

The study is the first that scientifically “confirms the numerous anecdotal accounts from across the Pacific of the dramatic impacts of climate change on coastlines and people,” the researchers wrote in a separate commentary on an academic website.

The scientists used aerial and satellite images dating back to 1947 of 33 islands, as well as traditional knowledge and radiocarbon dating of trees for their findings. More

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Water, Water Everywhere

Water, Water Everywhere : Maldives - Image of the Day

The palm tree-fringed beaches of the Maldives give the appearance of an island paradise. But behind the tiny island nation lies a more complicated story.

The archipelago numbers 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls. Tourism powers the country’s economy, as 80 of its islands contain resorts. But its most lucrative asset—proximity to the azure seas—threatens to bring its downfall. The Maldives stands to lose much to sea-level rise, according to the United Nations.

As the smallest Asian country, the Republic of Maldives has a total population the size of a modest European city. The islands rise just a smidgeon above the Indian Ocean: roughly 80 percent of the country stands no more than 1 meter (3 feet) above sea level, according to the CIA World Factbook.
The nation was one of the first to warn of the effects of climate change that are already taking place. In 2009, then-president Mohamed Nasheed made international headlines by holding an underwater cabinet meeting in scuba attire to draw attention to the issue.

During bad storms, knee-deep water has inundated some islands. Malé, the capital and home to one-third of the nation’s residents—as well as multi-million dollar concrete stormwalls—has borne the brunt of several large storms in the past few decades. The city has also struggled to contain vector-borne diseases like dengue fever. (Heavy rains leave behind shallow pools where disease-spreading mosquitoes lay their eggs.)
This image was acquired on April 3, 2013, by the Advanced Spaceborne Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) aboard the Terra satellite. Note: the synthetic natural color image, which combines several different spectral ranges to simulate the look of natural color, makes the islands appear slightly brighter than would an aerial photograph.

(http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=89453&src=eoa-iotd

Masters Degree Scholarships for students from SIDS


Scholarships for students from SIDS

Please share this opportunity with SIDS residents interested in pursuing a Masters in the following fields:

A) - mitigation of climate change and the development of a low carbon economy,

B) - identifying risks and vulnerability to adapt to climate change and enhance resilience

C) - good governance of climate change.


You might be, or might know of, a promising graduate from a Small Island Developing State interested in coming to study in Malta at the University of Malta, on a full scholarship. Three such scholarships are on offer by the Government of Malta for courses starting Oct 2017.


More information available on request by emailing godfrey.baldacchino@um.edu.mt