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Small islands need help combating climate change

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From rising sea levels to the salination of fresh water supplies, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are feeling the effects of climate change daily. However, only 10 of the 45 SIDS have received promised financial assistance to cope with the . Many populations living on low- lying islands had to move to higher land, which has created friction among populations who often share few things except for a national identity. Furthermore, the small nation of Vanuatu has 100 languages. These local indigenous groups have had to move to higher-lying islands, and the competition for scarce resources has created insecurity and heightened tensions.

“Traditional land owners will start to make demands on those who are relocating there,” said Vanuatu’s Minister for Finance and Economic Management Sela Molisa. “And, once the food is threatened, the security implication is there.”

The Copenhagen Accord pledged 30 billion U.S. dollars in fast- start funding for 2010-12 to help developing nations adapt to climate change. What’s discouraging is five months after the Copenhagen summit no matching mechanism between donors and the most vulnerable exist.

We have got to stay true to our commitments. These nations are on the front lines, but we are leaving them out to dry. It’s time we get serious or else we’ll face the consequences.

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