AUKI, Malaita Province, Solomon Islands
The deceptively calm waters of Langa Langa Lagoon on the west coast of Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands is home to thousands of people who have lived on artificial islands for centuries. For generations the islanders in this south-west Pacific nation have employed tenacity and ingenuity to maintain their existence on these tiny low-lying man-made atolls, devoid of freshwater and arable land. But climate change is now the greatest threat to their survival.
"Canada is not a country, it's winter," Canadians say with pride. But the nation's long, fearsome winters will live only in memory and song for Canadian children born this decade.
Eighty-year-old Rupert Lawrence has been living in the Dominica capital, Roseau, for nearly 60 years. Like visitors to the island, he too is fascinated by the fact that the town square has a river running right through its centre.
For the last decade, many families in this southwestern Vietnamese province have been uprooted at least once every two years – but this is not due to economic or political upheaval.
Killing nearly 200 people in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean and crippling much of New York City and surrounding areas earlier this week, Hurricane Sandy was the kind of extreme weather event scientists have long predicted will occur with global warming.
Climate activist Wanita Limpus, from the low-lying island nation of Kiribati in the Central Pacific Ocean, says the outcome of the Rio+20 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June was a serious letdown for small, developing island states.
Subject to the double impact of the global economic crisis and climate change, the Caribbean island nations are in need of adaptation strategies in which international cooperation and citizen participation play key roles, says Cuban expert Ramón Pichs.