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a group of small islands’ leaders plan to take the unprecedented step of putting a resolution before the United Nations calling upon the Security Council itself to address climate change

Wednesday 3 September 2008 by anik

Next week, desperate due to accelerating sea level rise, a group of
small islands’ leaders plan to take the unprecedented step of putting a
resolution before the United Nations calling upon the Security Council
itself to address climate change. Stand with these threatened people:

Sign the petition now!

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 planning the unprecedented step next week,
ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting, of calling on 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.
This effort could help shift the tenor of the world’s debate — from a far-off
storm cloud to a life-threatening crisis here and how. But the island states’
campaign will meet 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 — our signatures will be presented to the UN by the
islands’ ambassadors as they introduce their resolution next week:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/sos_small_islands

For the first time in human history, the North Pole can be circumnavigated —
the Arctic ice is melting more quickly than almost anyone anticipated. Now,
small island nations — where homes are, at most, mere 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 — population, 150 million —
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 as well. Just
as sea levels rise or fall everywhere at the same time, the choices of every
person everywhere affect the future of our common home. By standing with the
people at the front line of the climate crisis, we show them, and ourselves,
that we recognize our fundamental shared humanity — and the responsibilities
that come with it.

With hope, Ben, Iain, Alice, Paul, Graziela, Pascal, Ricken, Brett, Milena —
the Avaaz team

PPS: These are the States who are sponsoring the resolution: Fiji, Maldives,
Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines,
Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, joined by Canada
and Turkey.

For a draft of the Small Islands States Resolution, please see:
http://islandsfirst.org/draftres.pdf

For more information about those presenting the petition please visit:
http://islandsfirst.org

For information about how rising sea levels will affect us all:
http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update2.htm

For more information about all of the island states:
http://www.sidsnet.org/aosis/


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