The drowning islands include: Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Maldives. For years, President Anote Tong of Kiribati has been urging international climate action, an end to "business as usual." The Christmas gift to his people from the recent Cancún conference is...a death sentence for their homeland.
Rising sea levels are destroyed housing and agriculture. Within a generation they will be environmental refugees. See also natives' eyewitness accounts in UNDP's Kiribati Climate Change Reality, a 7 min video; the trailer for King Tide trailer (from the documentary The Sinking of Tuvalu). The Maldives cabinet met underwater to dramatize the threat: reported by Andrew Revkin of the NY Times 3 Mar 2009, but repeatedly questioned by climate change denier Anthony Watts, whose claim to expertise is his stint as a TV weather announcer. We will not engage with the endless postings of the denier claque here, except to mention that much of what they say has been heavily funded by the oil lobby.
Further references: see Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The Maldives are hoping to use tourist revenue to buy land: “We will invest in land,” said the president. “We do not want to end up in refugee tents if the worst happens”: findingdulcinea 12 Nov 2008.