The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment confirmed that islands have been under intense pressure over the past century from invasive alien species, habitat change and over-exploitation, and that climate change and pollution are becoming increasingly serious threats.
Clearly, there is an urgent need for action. The programme of work on island biodiversity, adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in decision VIII/1, sets out almost 50 priority island-specific actions aimed at achieving the three objectives of the Convention and, more specifically, at reducing significantly the rate of island biodiversity loss by 2010 and beyond as a contribution to poverty alleviation and the sustainable development of islands, particularly small island developing States.
Developing a shared vision for the future of the world's islands starts with increasing public awareness at all levels of society. The Wealth of Islands
, a global call for conservation of island biodiversity, provides a better understanding of what is at stake, what is being done and what remains to be done.