SOS: Small Islands States, 61°

Dear friends,

Next week, desperate due to accelerating sea level rise, a group of small islands' leaders plan to take the unprecedented step of putting a resolution before the United Nations calling upon the Security Council itself to address climate change. Stand with these threatened people:

Sign the petition now!
Imagine the sea rising around you as your country literally disappears beneath your feet, where the food you grow and the water you drink is being destroyed by salt, and your last chance is to seek refuge in other lands where climate refugees have no official status. This is not a dream, it's the fearful reality for millions of people who live on islands around the world, from the Maldives to Papua New Guinea.

That is why these small islands are planning the unprecedented step next week, ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting, of calling on the Security Council itself to address climate change as a pressing threat to international peace and security.

This is a creative move born of desperation, a challenge to global powers to end their complacency and tackle this lethal crisis with the urgency of wars. This effort could help shift the tenor of the world's debate -- from a far-off storm cloud to a life-threatening crisis here and how. But the island states' campaign will meet fierce opposition from the world’s biggest polluters, so they need our help. Sign the petition now to raise a worldwide chorus of support for this call -- our signatures will be presented to the UN by the islands' ambassadors as they introduce their resolution next week:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/sos_small_islands

Arctic ice is melting so fast that, for the first time in human history, you can sail straight through the Arctic. Hurricanes and other extreme weather patterns are growing in size and number. As an Avaaz member in St. Kitts writes, "While those in the US can evacuate an area when a powerful hurricane is on its way, those of us on the islands do not have that option." Now, small island nations -- whose highest points are often only a few meters above sea level -- are preparing evacuation plans to guarantee the survival of their populations.

President Remengesau of Palau, a small island in the Pacific, recently said:

Palau has lost at least one third of its coral reefs due to climate change related weather patterns. We also lost most of our agricultural production due to drought and extreme high tides. These are not theoretical, scientific losses -- they are the losses of our resources and our livelihoods.... For island states, time is not running out. It has run out. And our path may very well be the window to your own future and the future of our planet".

Beyond the islands, countries like Bangladesh -- population, 150 million -- face losing large parts of their landmass. The experience of our planet's most vulnerable communities serves as a warning sign of the future world we can all expect: extreme weather growing in intensity, conflict over water and food supplies, coasts disappearing and hundreds of millions made refugees.

The more signatures we raise to be delivered to the UN next week, the more urgently this call will ring out to protect our common future. Sign now:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/sos_small_islands

The small islands' brave campaign for survival is our campaign as well. Just as sea levels rise or fall everywhere at the same time, the choices of every person everywhere affect the future of our common home. By standing with the people at the front line of the climate crisis, we show them, and ourselves, that we recognize our fundamental shared humanity -- and the responsibilities that come with it.

With hope, Ben, Iain, Alice, Paul, Graziela, Pascal, Ricken, Brett, Milena -- the Avaaz team

PS: For a report on Avaaz's campaigning so far, see:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/report_back_2

PPS: These are the States who are sponsoring the resolution: Fiji, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, joined by Canada and Turkey.

For a draft of the Small Islands States Resolution, please see:
http://islandsfirst.org/draftres.pdf

For more information about those presenting the petition please visit:
http://islandsfirst.org

For information on Tuvalu's evacuation plan and climate refugees, see:
http://www.wwf.org.au/articles/climate-refugees...

For information about how rising sea levels will affect us all:
http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update2.htm

For more information on the rapidly-melting Arctic ice:
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climat...

For more information about all of the island states:
http://www.sidsnet.org/aosis/

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ABOUT AVAAZ
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

Click here to learn more about our largest campaigns.

Don't forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace and Bebo pages!

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