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Island country


An island country is a country whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 46 (approximately 24%) of the 193 UN member states are island countries.

The percentage of island countries that are democratic is higher than that of countries. Historically they have been more prone to political stability than their continental counterparts.

Island countries have often been the basis of maritime conquest and historical rivalry between other countries. Island countries are more susceptible to attack by large, continental countries due to their size and dependence on sea and air lines of communication. Many island countries are also vulnerable to predation by mercenaries and other foreign invaders, although their isolation also makes them a difficult target.

Many island countries rely heavily on fish for their main supply of food. Some are turning to renewable energy—such as wind power, hydropower, geothermal power and biodiesel from copra oil—to combat the rise in oil prices.

Some island countries are more affected than other countries by climate change, which produces problems such as reduced land use, water scarcity and sometimes even resettlement issues. Some low-lying island countries are slowly being submerged by the rising water levels of the Pacific Ocean. Climate change also impacts island countries by causing natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, hurricanes, flash floods and drought. In 2011, the Center for Climate Change Law (CCCL) held a conference attended by 272 registrants from 39 island nations titled Legal Issues for Threatened Island Nations.


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