03.06.2014 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

UNESCO message for the World Environment Day - an alert about Climate Change

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the World Environment Day, 5 June 2014.


Small Island developing States and climate change

World Environment Day is of particular relevance as we celebrate in 2014 International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). These “small islands” are really “vast ocean States” whose land area is only a part of their territory and whose experience is vital for all the inhabitants of our blue planet.
The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) underlines the extreme vulnerability of SIDS to climate change. The growing frequency of cyclones and coastal flooding places the inhabitants of these islands in highly precarious situations. The acidification of the ocean combined with the increasing intrusion of saltwater into freshwater aquifers owing to rising sea levels pose significant risks for the food security of all people who depend directly on the sea for their food, affecting more than 2.6 billion people in the world.

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