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Many Strong Voices: turning vulnerability into strength

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This paper highlights the activities of Many Strong Voices (MSV), an alliance of Indigenous Peoples Organisations, NGOs, researchers, policymakers, community organisations and others in over 20 Arctic and SIDS (Small Island Developing States) states. The goal of MSV is to promote the well-being, security, and sustainability of coastal communities by bringing these regions together to take action on climate change mitigation and adaptation, and to tell their stories to the world.The main findings of the paper are:

the Arctic have contributed the least to climate change and have the fewest resources available to tackle the problems it creates
climatic changes are expected to have detrimental impacts on infrastructure and traditional indigenous ways of life in these regions
food security for some subsistence systems will be threatened through changes in natural ecosystems
human health may also suffer through the re-appearance or new arrival of vector-borne infectious diseases
people on small islands have developed a wide range of adaptive strategies to cope with climate variability and extreme weather events. However, their traditional knowledge for coping is being lost at the same time as its value in developing adaptation strategies is increasingly recognised
the cost of adaptation relative to GDP is high in SIDS; thus, substantial investments and international financial assistance is needed to build adaptive capacity in these countries
research is also required to demonstrate the constraints and opportunities for adaptation within SIDS communities in order to support the design, implementation, and subsequent monitoring of community adaptation strategies.

The MSV programme is addressing these gaps by working with researchers around the world to develop climate change vulnerability and adaptation assessments in SIDS.