Public Forum: Climate Change Adaptations and Islands
September 22, 2016
Florence Simmons Performance Hall, Holland College, Charlottetown
- ‘We can be ambassadors of our own fate’: A call to action on climate change (CBC News, September 21, 2016)
- Climate change affects Islanders each day, says expert (CBC News, September 21, 2016)
UPEI’s UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the UPEI Climate Research Lab co-hosted a public forum on climate change adaptations and islands on September 26, 2016. Information gathered at the forum will be become part of a statement delivered at the 22nd Unite Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22) in Morocco in November 2016 and will inform public policy in local, national, and international jurisdictions.
Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino, co-holder of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, primed the Forum by presenting a summary of a recent two-day international symposium on small island resilience to climate change. The “Building Small Island Resilience to Global Climate Change” symposium brought together 15 people from around the world to discuss how residents of small islands and coastal jurisdictions can build on their strengths and resourcefulness to respond to the consequences of climate change. The of the symposium focus was on four areas: food security, renewable energy, innovation, and cultural heritage. Also hosted by the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability and the UPEI Climate Research Lab, the symposium was funded in part by the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency (ACOA).
“The symposium provides a great opportunity for us to focus on climate change and adaptation in respect to islands. The forum gives the public an important venue to have their input added to this discussion,” said Dr. Adam Fenech, director of the UPEI Climate Research Lab, who helped to present the first draft of the Symposium statement to the forum.
To learn more about the Building Small Island Resilience to Global Climate Change Symposium: projects.upei.ca/unescochair/climate-change-and-islands-symposium
“Despite being minor contributors to global climate change, many of the 600 million islanders of the world are seeing their way of life, and indeed the very existence of their islands, being threatened by human-induced global warming,” said Dr. Jim Randall, co-holder of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. “This public forum and the larger symposium are an opportunity to show how islands and islanders are being adaptive and resilient; and at the same time provide practical lessons to the rest of the world on how we should adapt to climate change.”