* "Frightening" prospect of rising seas - U.N.
* Islands say overlooked, fault inaction over climate
* Small island summit in Samoa from Sept. 1-4
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO, Aug 25 Small island states facing a
"frightening" rise in sea levels will seek investments in
everything fron solar energy to fisheries to boost their
economies at a U.N. summit next week.
Leaders will meet in Samoa in the Pacific from Sept. 1-4 to
drum up partnerships with companies, development banks and
donors on projects that bring in dollars and jobs while
protecting oceans and environments, organisers said.
Many islands from the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean are
suffering erosion and coastal flooding from storm surges as
global warming raises sea levels by melting ice from the
Himalayas to Greenland.
"Beaches disappearing, hotels and port facilities having to
move - it is for some countries a very frightening outlook," the
head of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner,
Islands were interested in developing fisheries, moving into
eco-tourism and shifting to wind and solar power from imported
diesel to generate electricity, among other projects, he addded.
Small island states say they are often overlooked by
investors, even though Steiner said islands including the
Seychelles, Barbados and Mauritius have made strides to cleaner
The countries have also accused developed nations of failing
to keep promises made at previous summits in 2005 and 1994.
RICH NATIONS FAULTED
Aid has been "over-promised but under-delivered. This is the
biggest hurdle," Marlene Moses of Nauru, chair of the 44-nation
Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), told Reuters.
"We are calling for a paradigm shift" to take more account
of the needs of island states, she said.
A draft AOSIS statement, obtained by Reuters, mainly faults
rich nations for failing to address global warming.
"International action to address climate change remains
grossly inadequate, and emissions of greenhouse gases continue
to rise at a distressing rate," it says, calling for more action
"with developed countries taking the lead."
Developed nations say they have met some aid goals, despite
austerity at home, for instance providing $30 billion from
2010-12 to help developing nations cope with climate change.
Sea levels have risen about 20 cms (8 inches) since 1900 and
are projected to rise by another 26 to 82 cms by the late 21st
century, threatening many low-lying atolls.
Some communities are even moving. The authorities of
Choiseul, a provincial capital in the Solomon Islands with about
1,000 people, said this month that they had decided to relocate
from their small island.
(Editing by Andrew Heavens)