Imagine a World Without Islands” campaign Hands Megaphone to Island People Ahead of SIDS4 Conference

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean Area (UNIC Caribbean) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean subregional headquarters for the Caribbean (ECLAC Caribbean) are proud to announce the launch of the “Imagine a World Without Islands” campaign.

With small island developing States (SIDS) facing a shaky and uncertain future, this initiative will lean on island voices to make the case that SIDS and their way of life are worth fighting for.

Taking place in the lead up to the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda, 27 May to 30 May 2024, the ‘Imagine a World Without Islands’ campaign will also educate on key SIDS concepts and highlight the oversized impact that islands and island people have had on the world stage.

Islands face a future in limbo

Small island developing States (SIDS) find themselves in the throes of multiple crises, from the devastating climate crisis, and escalating debt, to the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite contributing less than 1% of the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, the world’s 39 small island *nation states* are disproportionately affected by the consequences because of their unique vulnerabilities that include remoteness, small size and economies, dependence on ocean resources, reliance on imports, and limited access to finance.

Inspired by the SIDS rallying cry “1.5 to stay alive,” which underscores the urgent need to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the campaign urges the world to envision a grim future where islands could cease to exist. With current pledges under the Paris Agreement putting the world on track for a 2.5-2.9°C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels this century, we must now ask a difficult question: what happens if the world fails to correct course? Whether it’s sea level rise swallowing islands whole in the Pacific or hurricanes growing in intensity and frequency in the Atlantic, one thing is clear: islands are on the frontline of the climate crisis and the worst is yet to come.

A partnership across SIDS regions

The ‘Imagine a World Without Islands’ campaign transcends geographical boundaries, drawing attention to the collective significance of islands across the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea (AIS) regions. With 39 SIDS worldwide and 20 associate members of regional commissions, island people *on some 11,000 permanently inhabited islands worldwide*, deserve to be heard when decisions are being made about their future. This campaign was developed with support from United Nations Caribbean and UN Pacific, underscoring the collaborative effort to reflect the voices of SIDS across regions ahead of this once in a decade conference.

Joining the Campaign

The campaign will feature different types of content responding to the challenge: “imagine a world without islands” across UN System social media platforms. Members of the public are invited to join the campaign by offering their own response to the prompt and posting online using the hashtag #SIDSStories. Island youth and island icons have been specially invited to speak up in the days leading up to the start of the conference.

This campaign will also feature a special SIDS4 primer for Caribbean journalists and civil society to be hosted virtually in the days leading up to the conference.

Join us for this critical campaign and together, let’s chart the course toward resilient prosperity.

For more information and campaign updates,

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