Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
This year Tropical Cyclones Pam and Super Typhoon Maysak have devastated islands across the Pacific. In 2014, Cyclone Ian caused over $50 million in damage in Tonga, equivalent to 11 percent of GDP. From the densely populated urban centers of the Philippines, Taiwan and Hawai’i to the atolls and archipelagos of the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean, never before have the more than 600 million people living on islands been so at risk.
Mountains are also experiencing an increasing number of climate induced extrem events, which have taken a heavy toll in terms of human lives. They are due to changes in precipitation, melting of permafrost, destruction of forests needed for protection from avalanches and for slope stabilizations. The rapidlymelting glaciers and significantly reduced snow cover in many parts of the world are threatening vital water sources, especially during dry seasons, with devastating effects for local communities and populations further downstream, affecting regional food security and economic development . The loss of biodiversity is also on the rise as specialized mountain plants and animals are very sensitive and vulnerable to changing conditions.