Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Arctic, Small Island States Call for Action on Adaptation

Environmental News Network: When it comes to the earth's changing climate, the people of the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have a message for the world - the time for action is now. This message is supported by the recently released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which highlights the vulnerability of the polar regions and small island states to climate change.

These two regions, separated by geography, climate and culture, are united by the fact that they are already feeling the dramatic effects of climate change. Both regions are looking for ways to adapt, but on their own, they may not be able to succeed. Strategic policy-relevant and community-driven initiatives need to be addressed through collaboration.

"We need to focus our research efforts on local communities because adaptation to climate change is a global concern with local manifestations," says Grete Hovelsrud, project leader for the Many Strong Voices Programme and Research Director at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO).

From 27 to 30 May 2007, 40 stakeholders from the Caribbean, Alaska, Fiji, Greenland, French Polynesia, and other locations in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will gather at a workshop in Belize. They are part of the Many Strong Voices Programme, coordinated by the UNEP/GRID-Arendal, based in Norway, the Center for International Climate and Environment Research - Oslo (CICERO), the Caricom Climate Change Centre and the Organization of American States' Department of Sustainable Development.

The Many Strong Voices Programme was launched in late 2005 at a global climate change meeting in Montréal, Canada. Its task is to bring together a consortium of researchers, policy-makers, and organizations to advance mutual learning and exchange of knowledge, research, and expertise on climate change adaptation within and between the Arctic and the SIDS.

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