International Year of Small Island Developing States

News and Media

UN expects upcoming Samoa small island conference to generate vital partnerships

Fisherman sitting in a boat on the water August 2014 – The United Nations expects over 300 initiatives to be announced two weeks from now at a major world conference aimed at fostering partnerships with small island developing States, a top UN organizing official today said.


#Islands2014 Photo call results

Fisherman sitting in a boat on the water June 2014 – Thanks to all who took part in our #islands2014 photo call! Selected pictures will be displayed at UN Headquarters in New York before traveling all the way to Samoa to be shown at the Conference of Small Island Developing States in September. 

UN Goodwill Ambassador and supermodel Gisele Bundchen talks about island issues in Hello magazine

Gisele BundchenJune 2014 – "We are all connected. The challenges faced by islands will face us all."

The Caribbean Youth Environment Network Raises Their Voice For Small Islands

The Caribbean Youth Environment Network Raises Their Voice For Small IslandsJune 2014 – The 800 members and affiliates of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), are taking action for Small Island Developing States.

Seychelles: Finding Solutions to Water Scarcity

June 2014 – The Seychelles government adopts a bill that adds rainwater harvesting to national building codes, following the success of a small scale UN demonstration project in schools.

Bali Island: Campaign to Purge Plastics

Bali Island: Campaign to Purge PlasticsJune 2014 – NGO Komunitas Bali Bersih will do its part in protecting the island by continuing its clean up campaign for World Environment Day

Schoolchildren in Barbados Show WED Support By Planting Trees

Schoolchildren in Barbados Show WED Support By Planting Trees June 2014 – Schoolchildren in Barbados Show WED Support By Planting Trees

Spotlight on Small Islands as World Environment Day Celebrations Kick off in Barbados

Nairobi, 1 June 2014 – The world's attention turned to the Caribbean, Sunday, as week-long World Environment Day celebrations kicked off with a religious service, which was offered in observance of the Day and in recognition of the 20th Anniversary of the First Conference of Small Island Development States.

Bright spots’ can help islands navigate towards sustainable future, says UN biodiversity chief

Young child wearing googles under water

22 May 2014 – Tiny though some may be, islands play a huge role in sustaining life on the planet – making up less than 5 per cent of Earth’s landmass, they are home to 20 per cent of all bird, reptile and plant species – and protecting their fragile ecosystems from ill-considered development, polluted waters and invasive species is the main focus of this year’s International Day for Biodiversity

Polynesian canoe voyage seeks to highlight need for action to safeguard the planet

The Hōkūle‘a canoe on the water

May 2014 - Using only traditional navigation methods, a group of navigators from the Polynesian Voyaging Society have embarked on a three-year canoe voyage around the world to spotlight the need for sustainable solutions to global challenges.

Student and Environmental Activist Wins World Environment Day Video-Blogging Competition

House landscape in Natewa Bay, Fiji

6 May 2014 - A 21-year-old environmental activist and university student from Canada, Fatin Chowdhury, has won the 2014 World Environment Day Video-Blogging Competition. As the winner of the competition, Mr. Chowhury will travel to a Small Island Developing State to cover the global celebrations of World Environment Day via video blog on 5 June.

Solar Power Leader Barbados to Host World Environment Day 2014

House landscape in Natewa Bay, Fiji

9 May 2014 - Barbados, a Caribbean island at the cutting edge of the fight against climate change, will host this year's World Environment Day global celebrations on 5 June 2014, according to a joint announcement made today by the government of Barbados and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Ban praises small islands’ commitment to address climate change

House landscape in Natewa Bay, Fiji

2 April 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today praised the commitment by small islands in the Pacific to low-carbon development and urged them to continue their ambitious efforts to combat climate change and spur other nations to come to a binding agreement on this issue next year.

UN and partners launch online resource to visualize ocean acidification

Collage of pictures and data that showcase Ocean Acidity

1 April 2014 – A new website brings together the latest ocean acidification infographics, publications, background information, presentations and news for researchers, policymakers and the public.

UN and partners working with indigenous groups in Solomon Islands to preserve local knowledge

Group of kids looking at an island photo in an electronic tablet device

31 March 2014 – The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is working with the Marovo community to create safeguard for education and build sustainable futures for indigenous people and their livelihood.

Record participation in Caribbean tsunami warning exercise

Tsunami visualization picture

28 March 2014 – Some 31 countries participated in the exercise, organized under the auspices of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Over 230,000 people took part in the test, a 75% increase compared to 2011 and 300% more than in 2013, which reflects the commitment of the countries concerned and a growing awareness of the tsunami threat in the region.

UN launches youth network for the future of small islands

Group of kids writing on the sand: My World, My SIDS, YES

24 February 2014 - The global Small Island Developing States Youth Network brings together young people from the more than 40 Member States, giving them a voice in devising sustainable development strategies for their countries as well as a forum through which they can take collective action.

UN kicks off International Year to raise profile of small island developing countries

The black sand coast near Taremb, Malekula Island, Vanuatu

24 Feb 2014 -While drawing attention to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the International Year of Small Island Developing States – which kicked off today at the United Nations – is also a chance to address increasing environmental degradation, and social and economic marginalization in those countries.

Global Launch of the International Year of Small Island Developing States

Man releasing a fishnet

Launch ceremony to take place on Monday 24 February, 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., at UN Headquarters in New York.

Live webcast will be available at:

Small Island Developing States require urgent global attention and support - UN official

Gyan Chandra Acharya on a podium

6 February 2014 – Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Gyan Chandra Acharya, advocates for the pro-active role of all stakeholders in galvanizing international support for this diverse and vital group of countries.

Threatened by rising seas, small island nations appeal for more aid at UN

Prime Minister Winston Baldwin Spencer speaking on a podium

25 September 2013 – On the front line of damage wrought by climate change, threatened with extinction from rising seas, leaders of some of the world’s small island States took to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly to call urgently for greater international support to mitigate the perils.

Pacific island leaders call for new development agenda to address climate change, oceans

King Topou VI of Tonga on a podium

27 September 2013 – Taking the podium at the United Nations General Assembly, King Tupou VI of Tonga and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi of Samoa joined leaders of other small island developing states in urging that sustainable development agenda address climate change in a way that is integrated throughout its targets.

More must be done to prepare pacific small islands for droughts, UN official warns

Welcome sign to the beautiful islands of Bikini

19 June 2013 – With thousands of people in the Marshall Islands without access to safe drinking water, the head of the United Nations office for disaster risk reduction has warned that Pacific small islands are threatened by drought and need to incorporate mitigation measures into their national planning and risk assessments.

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