The Caribbean lies north of the equator with its western side flowing onto Central American shores to the south it is bounded by Columbia and Venezuela. Strings of islands mark its boundaries with the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The Islands of the Caribbean, although small, are independent states or overseas territories belonging to France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Around the boundaries of the Caribbean are the nation islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
The abundant marine life among the Caribbean island coral reefs is part of the attraction that brings many visitors to the islands annually. More than 21m holidaymakers visit the islands of the Caribbean each year accounting for 30% of the region’s GDP.
The Bahamas boasts the world’s third longest reef and more than 14% of the entire coral of our planet are found in the Caribbean region. However with the onslaught of climate change the coral of the islands is under threat. However, there are some active initiatives aimed at controlling and preserving the environment of these beautiful tropical islands.
The mighty Pacific Ocean accounts for more than half the globe’s surface and is bounded on the west by the Australian and Asian Continents, and in the east by North and South America. The many islands of the Pacific, approximately 20 to 30,000, are to be found below the Tropic of Cancer, and they are divided into three regions. In the central Pacific are the islands of Polynesia and in the southwest Melanesia with Micronesia in the western Pacific. These island nations are involved in many projects designed to achieve sustainable development and combat the effects of climate change.
Polynesia (many islands) has many sovereign nations of which 350 are actively engaged in fighting climate change the most notable being Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, American Samoa, Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands.
Melanesia (black islands), these islands are also actively engaged in UN programmes to combat climate change. The islands most active in finding solutions are Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands
Micronesia (small islands) also contains many sovereign nations all negatively affected by climate change. The islands of Palau, Kiribati, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia are actively engaged in find solutions to this ongoing problem.
The Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean and the South China Seas – AIMS
Within the waters of these oceans and seas are many small islands which are now categorised as Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and they include the Comoros, the Maldives, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Säo Tomé and Principe, Cyprus, Bahrain and Singapore.
The Comoros archipelago with its four major islands lies off the east coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean is still governed by France.
The Maldives is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean south-west from India. The country is made up of 1190 coral islands of which only about 200 islands are inhabited.
Mauritius, an archipelago off the east coast of southern Africa is in the Indian Ocean. The islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues, and Réunion together form part of the Mascarene Islands.
The Seychelles Archipelago consists of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar, includes 115 islands although they account for the smallest land mass of the total of 1,000km2 of all the AIMS islands.
Cape Verde (Cabo Verde), is a volcanic archipelago in the Indian Ocean off the northwest coast of Africa. Santiago is the largest island in the archipelago.
Guinea-Bissau consists of a total of 80 islands lying off the west coast of Africa between Senegal and Guinea.
São Tomé and Príncipe islands lie in the Atlantic approximately 300 km off the northwest coast of Gabon and make up the smallest country in Africa.
Cyprus is a small island republic in the Eastern Mediterranean sea. It is 75 miles west of the eastern Syrian coast and 71 miles south of Turkey.
Bahrain is a nation island archipelago in the Middle East. It is situated in the Arabian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia. Al Bahrayn is the main island of the archipelago.
Singapore is a city-state in Southeast Asia that consists of the isle of Singapore together with 54 smaller islands. A man-made causeway links the main island to the Malay Peninsula.
Although the islands of these areas are geographically diverse, they all are subject to cyclones, hurricanes, storms and droughts now exacerbated by the effects of climate change and as a result, are all actively involved in protecting their environment and combating the effects of climate change as well as finding ways to create sustainable economies.