Imagine a World Without Islands” campaign Hands Megaphone to Island People Ahead of SIDS4 Conference


The United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean Area (UNIC Caribbean) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean subregional headquarters for the Caribbean (ECLAC Caribbean) are proud to announce the launch of the “Imagine a World Without Islands” campaign.

With small island developing States (SIDS) facing a shaky and uncertain future, this initiative will lean on island voices to make the case that SIDS and their way of life are worth fighting for.

Taking place in the lead up to the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS4) in Antigua and Barbuda, 27 May to 30 May 2024, the ‘Imagine a World Without Islands’ campaign will also educate on key SIDS concepts and highlight the oversized impact that islands and island people have had on the world stage.

Islands face a future in limbo

Small island developing States (SIDS) find themselves in the throes of multiple crises, from the devastating climate crisis, and escalating debt, to the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite contributing less than 1% of the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change, the world’s 39 small island *nation states* are disproportionately affected by the consequences because of their unique vulnerabilities that include remoteness, small size and economies, dependence on ocean resources, reliance on imports, and limited access to finance.

Inspired by the SIDS rallying cry “1.5 to stay alive,” which underscores the urgent need to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the campaign urges the world to envision a grim future where islands could cease to exist. With current pledges under the Paris Agreement putting the world on track for a 2.5-2.9°C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels this century, we must now ask a difficult question: what happens if the world fails to correct course? Whether it’s sea level rise swallowing islands whole in the Pacific or hurricanes growing in intensity and frequency in the Atlantic, one thing is clear: islands are on the frontline of the climate crisis and the worst is yet to come.

A partnership across SIDS regions

The ‘Imagine a World Without Islands’ campaign transcends geographical boundaries, drawing attention to the collective significance of islands across the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea (AIS) regions. With 39 SIDS worldwide and 20 associate members of regional commissions, island people *on some 11,000 permanently inhabited islands worldwide*, deserve to be heard when decisions are being made about their future. This campaign was developed with support from United Nations Caribbean and UN Pacific, underscoring the collaborative effort to reflect the voices of SIDS across regions ahead of this once in a decade conference.

Joining the Campaign

The campaign will feature different types of content responding to the challenge: “imagine a world without islands” across UN System social media platforms. Members of the public are invited to join the campaign by offering their own response to the prompt and posting online using the hashtag #SIDSStories. Island youth and island icons have been specially invited to speak up in the days leading up to the start of the conference.

This campaign will also feature a special SIDS4 primer for Caribbean journalists and civil society to be hosted virtually in the days leading up to the conference.

Join us for this critical campaign and together, let’s chart the course toward resilient prosperity.

For more information and campaign updates,

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  1. This entire initiative is both a waste of time and money. Most of the issues we face are due to corruption. Small Island Corrupt States.
    Imagine a World Without Corruption.

  2. The inconvenient truth is, when the entire world was on lockdown and not one plane in the sky and all the roads empty the temperature didn’t change one bit. What difference do they intend to make now? I know…take away all cars so only the ministers can drive…that will fix it. Tell me, what freedoms do we have to give up to get this free SIDS money from the UN now?

  3. Our problem is not the big bad global worming that is peddled here, nor the so-called lack of economic growth that is mentioned , we have plenty to feed ourselves.
    The biggest threat to small island states, is the direct impact that the outside laws and influences have on our culture. That’s what is crippling our unique way of life.
    The gambling, the prostitution, the battyman laws that we are trying to adapt, the drugs, the greed and corruption that has engulfed the Caribbean, that’s what’s f..king our way of life as SIDS, not global worming and the lack of economic development.

    Look at any island and culture in the Caribbean that has adapted to these outside influences, and see what these islands have come to over the last 30yrs.

    Name them. Antigua, Haiti, DR, Jamaica, Trinidad, the Bahamas etc etc. just look.

    We were never a people who embrace prostitution, gambling, drugs, battymanism,the alphabet society and greed. We were a people that help each other, hand wash hand, where it literally takes a village.. that was our impact on the world as a peaceful and loving people.

    That’s what we should be working on, and not how rich we should be getting, or who live in the biggest house on the hill..that selfish mindset has crippled the true Caribbean culture.

    Get back to be a loving peaceful people, and our impact will be sustained in this world, other wise it’s a no return for us.

    That’s our impact. We all remember what we were as a people, when most of us had very little in the way of money, but we were some of the happiest people on this earth.

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