Impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on small island states: National and international responses

Few developing countries possess sufficient indigenous financial and personnel resources to address adequately the predicted impacts of global climate change. In recognition of this fact, the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Activity Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1987 established a series of regional teams to examine potential impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on terrestrial and marine ecosystems, on coastal environments, and on the socioeconomic structures of countries throughout the world. Drawing mainly on the work of the South Pacific Task Team, this article provides an overview of interrelated environmental problems and development problems in the Indo-Pacific region and reviews efforts to develop response strategies. The case of the Maldives is highlighted.

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