TRAVEL

10 Gorgeous Islands You Need To Visit ASAP Before They Disappear

03/21/2014 09:41 EDT | Updated 06/20/2017 22:17 EDT

(Relaxnews) - They're jewels of the oceans, small paradisiacal islands and atolls that rise up in the middle of the sea often developed for the pleasure of holidaymakers seeking tropical getaways. But they won't last long.

Hyperbole? Not for the scientists who've been sounding the alarm for years on the dangers of rising sea levels; the locals who've already borne weather-related disasters on their islands; or the families who've already been uprooted from their homes and been relocated -- the world's first climate change refugees.

Last year, presidents and leaders of small island nations assembled before the United Nations pleading with the world's most powerful nations to save their countries from the threat of extinction.

"We are disastrously off course," said President Anote Tong of Kiribati, a string of 33 islands in the central Pacific Ocean about 4,000 km (2,500 miles) southwest of Hawaii.

Already, families on the Carteret Islands in the South Pacific have had to abandon their homes and be relocated to neighbouring islands due to rising sea levels that have slowly swallowed parts of their island.

With World Water Day set for March 22, here's a look at some tropical island destinations you may want to visit, before rising sea levels threaten to bury them forever.

Islands That Could Disappear For Good

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