Sea level rise threatens small Caribbean islands

Another factor contributing to the vulnerability of the islands is that climate change is altering the survival of coral reefs and mangroves.

The small islands of the Caribbean are among the first to suffer from the rise in sea level, which for them will have a disastrous effect immediately, since 99.9% of its tourist infrastructure are on the coast, and even will threaten its existence.

It was warned by the executive director of the United Nations Program for Environment (UNEP), Achim Steiner, on the eve of the publication of the fifth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which will be released on Sunday from Copenhagen.

As he explained in a telephone interview, rising sea levels will impact “immediately” in the tourism sector called small island developing States (SIDS ) in the Caribbean, even to “threaten its existence”,

“Both the increase in temperature and the rise in sea level will impact immediately on the Caribbean nations in economic terms because 99.9% of its tourist infrastructure is located in its coastal areas,” he said.

In this context, Steiner emphasized that SIDS “are more exposed to this situation simply because in some cases their territories are only two, three, four meters above sea level, so a rise threatens their existence.”

Another factor contributing to the vulnerability of the islands is that climate change is altering the survival of coral reefs and mangroves.

“Coral reefs and mangroves are natural barriers and help to strengthen the resilience of these countries. If coral reefs are dying, clearly the islands are most vulnerable,” said the executive director of UNEP.

In addition, the Brazilian expert said that extreme weather conditions have resulted in recent years significant hurricanes and floods pose enormous economic costs for these weak, due to the destruction they leave in their wake.

Other regional initiatives, Steiner noted that Barbados’ efforts to incorporate energy efficiency and renewable energy investment in its agenda and national planning “to deal with this threat haste.

That was one of the reasons that in June 2014 the United Nations decided to convene in Barbados on World Environment Day, which this year was dedicated to the SIDS islands.

“Rising sea levels linked to climate change is already affecting these small island states, who are precisely the least responsible for climate change ” confirmed in the celebrations, Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has chosen 2014 as the year of SIDS, comprising geographic areas such as the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, so can be taken consciousness environmental challenges that affect them.

Source | EFE

Advertisements