As has become less over time but some

As a society people began living in extended family units or small villages. With growing globalisation
and interdependence we live in an increasingly interlinked and connected world. The phrase ‘global
village’ has grown in common use since the 1960s and is now even more applicable given the
connectivity that is now almost universal.
Previous generations may have been isolated in terms of geography and society but the outward urge to
explore new places has continued since the earliest explorers travelled from Peru to Polynesia over 5000
years ago. From the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings who travelled to England and other islands in the search
for fertile land and resources, to the exploration and subsequent exploitation of the Caribbean islands
that began with Christopher Columbus.
Humans throughout history have chosen to inhabit islands for a variety of social, commercial, and military
reasons. Cities as diverse as St Petersburg (Russia), Male (Maldives), Havana (Cuba), Singapore, Wellington
(New Zealand) are all found on islands.
The isolation of islands has become less over time but some islands have been historically used as prisons
for those in society that people consider to be a danger due to their isolated nature. Notable island
prisons include Alcatraz in San Francisco USA, Robbens Island in South Africa, Devil’s Island in Guyana and
Bastoy prison island in Norway, all of which have housed both famous and infamous people.
Islands have also been significant in global developments. For example, the testing of the first atomic
bomb on the remote islands of Bikini atoll in the Marshall islands from the 1940s ushered in the Cold War.
Later in the the 1960s the Bay of Pigs incident in the Caribbean took the world to the brink of a third
world war. Islands continue to cause political issues of a global nature for example, Spratleys in South
China Sea,Falklands Islands in South Atlantic.
Location of islands has lead them to develop some unique features or develop certain aspects due to
their location. As a result of climatic, topographical and locational differences, some of the food and
cultures are unique to the islands that they have originated on.
Islands have also had a spiritual significance across many religions. For example: Bali island as a centre for
Hinduism in Indonesia; Lindisfarne island as a significant place for Christianity in England; the Cocos
(Keeling) Islands off the coast of Australia as a centre for Islam; the Thirteen Buddhas of Awaji Island, in
Japan. In Judaism the Venetian Ghetto, an area Jews were compelled to live on in the 16th to the 18th
centuries, is an island that is not positive but is signifcant. Traditionally islands have offered a retreat
from daily life and enabled devotees to focus on prayer and reflection.
Moving forwards, island nations are some of the most at risk from global challenges. Some island nations
have already had to evacuate due to the rising sea levels. Singapore, the Maldives and Pacific islands
including the Solomon Islands, are also at increasing risk from the inherent challenges of sea level rise. In
the last few years increasing numbers of islands have been at risk due to the rising sea levels. For the last
twenty years the Carteret islanders have been battling the rising sea levels. Since 2015 the islanders have
been evacuated to nearby Papua New Guinea.
Global use of plastics also has had a huge environmental impact on island nations. Plastics from land are
Earth as an Island
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washed into the world’s oceans and causing problems on some of the world’s most remote islands. In the
Pacific island there are garbage islands that are floating masses of plastic. National Geographic has
information and a map on two garbage patches in the Pacific ocean, available at this link:
https://www.nationalgeographic.org/…garbage-patch/
Today there are no locations that are untouched by the problem of plastic. Problems faced by the
islanders of the world require global solutions.
From the entry point that looks at different island foods and then explores the idea of food miles this unit
looks at the increasing global interdependence. The exit point culminates in children becoming
advocates for action and awareness to minimise the negative effects of globalisation.
The earth is the only planet in this solar system that is able to be inhabited. The earth is an island in space
and the outward urge to explore and discover continues with Nasa looking to send a manned mission to
Mars by 2025.
Share the first line from the John Donne poem – No man is an island