Tourist island of Zanzibar to host climate change conference in December


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (eTN) – Standing among small island states threatened by effects of climate change, the tourist island of Zanzibar has organized a three-day symposium to deliberate the impact of climate change in small island states.

Scheduled from December 12 to 14 this year, the symposium bears the theme of “First International Symposium on Impact and Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Small Island Developing States.”

Organizers of the event, the State University of Zanzibar, said the symposium is aimed to raise national and international awareness on threats of climate change to small island states, which are leading tourist attraction destinations in the world, including the island of Zanzibar.

Climate change scientists had earlier raised their concern over climate changes in Zanzibar and threats to rising water levels of the Indian Ocean, and predicted dangers ahead, among them, a possible sinking of some islands which make the Zanzibar archipelago.

Experts further warned of a possibility to see key beaches of Zanzibar and a big part of this island totally sinking in the Indian Ocean within the coming 100 years.

According to the State University of Zanzibar, key speakers will be drawn from other island states including Samoa and Japan. Other speakers confirmed to attend will come from Tanzania and South Africa.

A number of topics have been drawn for discussion by climate change experts and policymakers. Key topics for discussion are: Climate Change and Biodiversity; Climate Change and Tourism; Climate Change and Ecosystem Services; Climate Change and Agriculture and Food Security; Climate Change, Land Use, and Forestry; and Climate Change and Human Health.

Other topics to be tabled are: Climate Change, Water Supply and Sanitation; Climate Change, Industry, Settlement, and Society; Climate Change and Transportation; Climate Change and Human Behavior; Climate Change and Coral Reefs; and Climate Change and Socio-economy.

Zanzibar is made up of two major islands in the Indian Ocean. Unguja is the main island and Pemba Island in the northern side is the small one, with a series of other, small uninhabited fishing coral islands. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is the administrative and commercial town or municipality, boasting of classic tourist beach hotels and resorts.

Zanzibar municipality is mostly made up of old, Arab architecture and is known as Stone Town, also listed as a World Heritage Site under the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).