Vulnerable islands need help tackling multiple threats say ITC and SIDS on World Environment Day (en)
The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations group of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have called for urgent action to help SIDS weather the socio-economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ITC-SIDS statement was made on World Environment Day (5 June) to underline the longstanding threat SIDS face from extreme weather, rising sea levels and climate change effects.
'The pandemic comes on the cusp of almost annual devastation caused by climatic events such as cyclones and hurricanes in SIDS regions,' said ITC's acting Executive Director Dorothy Tembo and Coordinator of SIDS group at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Ambassador Chad Blackman of Barbados.
These multiple threats have made the future resilience of developing islands in the Caribbean, the Pacific and elsewhere especially precarious, the officials said.
The economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be disproportionately affect SIDS, the joint statement says. This exposure comes against the backdrop of the inherent vulnerability of SIDS to economic and environmental shocks, insularity, a dependence on a few advanced markets for trade, high reliance on tourism, a narrow production base and high levels of indebtedness.
World Environment Day has been celebrated every year since 1974. The campaign engages governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on pressing environmental issues. In 2020, the focus is biodiversity − a critical issue for many SIDS with agricultural economies.
The SIDS group comprises Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Dominica, Fiji, Grenada, Jamaica, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federal States of), Mauritius, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
The statement is available here .