The UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon has said that Kiribati’s traditional words of blessing of ‘Te Mauri, Te Raoi, and Te Tabomoa’
UNSG planting mangrove in Kiribati. Photo by Eskinder Debebe
sums up the value of the United Nations.
Ban Ki-moon made the statement at a state dinner hosted by Kiribati’s President Anote Tong in his recent visit to Kiribati in early September this year.
He said the United Nations and Kiribati both share the goals of Peace, Health and Prosperity with both countries concerned about Climate Change.
“Many countries are dealing with climate change but in Kiribati, climate change threatens your territory, your culture and your very way of life”, he adds.
The secretary also recalls President Tong’s address at one of the UN General Assembly where he challenged all the leaders to take action on Climate Change and said, “I fear that our children and grandchildren will look back and ask, how is it that they knew what they knew and yet did so little?”.
One of many PNG maritime villages facing threats of sea level rise. Pic by: Sven Rudolf Jan
by Anisah Issimel, NBC News, PNG
A rural village on the northern maritime province of Madang in Papua New Guinea has embarked on a small project to build a sea wall in a bid to save its shorelines from constant sea battering.
Riwo Village, with a population of just over two thousand people, has lost a large portion of its shoreline in the last five years to sea weathering and the rising sea level.
The idea to build the sea wall was an initiative of the local village leaders in light of the ongoing effects of climate change.
The leaders had initially raised the idea with their provincial governor, James Gau, requesting financial assistance to build the wall, and so far had recieved 100 thousand kina from the PNG Government to help them.
The villagers had since completed part of the wall but will need further financial assistance to complete the entire project.
UN Secretary-General in Kiribati wearing traditional fishing hat
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that he’s very shocked to see for himself the drastic impacts of Climate Change in Kiribati particulary in the nation’s capital Tarawa.
“I have been to north and south pole and I have been to other places around the world and my visit to Kiribati is the most shocking. Even a small sea level rise could affect the whole Kiribati”, he said.
Ba Ki-moon made the statement when he paid a visit to “te Bikenikoora”, one of the settlements on Tarawa that has been seriously impacted by sea level rise thus leaving residents of the settlement with no other options but to seek for immediate relocation.
He further added that Climate Change is compromising the ability of people to sustain life.
In his address to the residents of the settlement Ban Ki-moon was frequently asked by threatened villagers as to what would the United Nations do to save Kiribati from sinking under water in 50 to 60 years time as predicted by scientists.
He also urged that people from all walks of life in this globe must come together to deal with the climate change threat.
“As secretary-general, I promise you, I pledge and I will do my best under my power as Secretary-General to fight for you until we achieve the real result”, he promised villagers.
Ban Ki-moon was on a 2-day visit to Kiribati as part of his tour of the Pacific this year.
Samoa has been experiencing a shortage of water as rainfall expected in the months of September and October did not arrive as expected. During those months the Samoa Water Authorityhas been carting water to the remote villages of Se’ese’e, Lepa and Saleapaga.
Water rationing has also been allocated to different areas of the country at certain hours throughout the day. Urban Manager of Samoa Water Auhority Ekiumen Fauolo says, ” There has been a bit of an improvement with a few showers in the last couple of days but it is still important to conserve water as reasonable rainfall is yet to be expected this month.”
Water shortage in Samoa Photo by : Alex(inyoureyes)
Farmers who had also been concerned about their crops are relieved as there were concerns of drought occuring if there was still no rainfall over the next few months. The government agriculture plantation at Nuu though are secure as they have their own irrigation systems n place.
There have also been calls to help out neigbouring Tokelau as they have declared a a drought related state of emergency.
Tonga’s rate of sea level rise is reported to be increasing at nearly three times the global average of 3.22mm per year due to El Nino and climate change. By 2100, sea-level rise is expected to increase by 1.6m drowning some of the buildings in this small island.
Sea level rise will inundate roads. Photo by Yanna.B
The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) predicted Tonga’s vulnerability to sea level rise and found that areas up to 5 m above the sea level will be affected. This means 37-46% of the total population and about 14.1% of the total land area of the main island, Tongatapu, will be inundated.
The threat of climate change is immediate and real. It will also contaminate well and drinking water. In a developing nation with limited arable land, salinity of water which also deteriorates the quality of usable land will be severely affected.
In the latest National Strategic Policy Framework, Government has included the goal to “Integrate environmental sustainability and climate change into all planning and executing of programs.” The challenge is fully integrating this into policies and enforcement.
Traditional Dancers from Ontong Java photo by 350.org
Like most of it’s neigbouring countries, Solomon Islands, a small island developing state, has it’s share of problems on the issue of climate change.
The country is anticipating many impacts on society, the economy, the environment and human health, all of which are exacerbated by political instability, ongoing environmental degradation, and an isolated economy.
One of the adverse effects is sea level rise on the Ontong Java atolls, of Malaita Province which is affecting the growth of Swamp taro, one of the staple crops planted by the people on the atolls and the limited water sources on the atoll.
The government has also announced tentative plans of relocation in which they are looking at resettling the people from Ontong Java to two provinves, namely Isabel and the Choiseul Province.
The Solomon Islands Government has various projects administered under the Ministry
of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology’s recenlty established Climate Change Division, that are currently helping communities adapt and also mitigate climate change in the country.
Fiji known as “Paradise in the middle of the deep blue sea” made up of 322 islands and 522 islets is like many countries in the Pacific facing the implications of climate change in a big way.
So the Government for a population of just over 800,000 people is trying its best to raise awareness on the subject as communties that heavily rely on agriculture experience the serious reality of climate change.
Climate change adaptation and food security project coordinator Doctor Jimaima Lako willingly shared some light recently on the subject to The Fiji Times.
She says on Totoya in the Lau Group alone there a lot of coastal degradation, while rivers were becoming shallow due to constant flooding.
The situation was so bad in Ketei Village that families have been forced to create outlets in their homes to channel floodwater out whenever it rains.
She said there were so many factors to consider when talking climate change which includes the causes and effects.
Sea level rise, Marwa Morgan
It is obvious that implications of climate change does not happen overnight and the lack of understanding often adds to the drastic effects to the environment and sustainable livelihood and development of communities.
Peter Korugl, from PNG, one of the participants attending the workshop. Picture: Tarami Leggs
Journalists from Asia Pacific countries are in Melbourne, Australia attending at workshop to upgrade their skills and knowledge in reporting climate change issues in their countries.
The 13 journalists are from Indonesia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa and Tonga -some of the countries currently feeling the impact of climate change.
Issues of concern in the Asia Pacific region include rising sea level, change in weather patterns, natural disasters like flooding. The region is also experiencing major resource developments such as logging that are also challenging efforts being made by respective governments to mitigate global warming.
As part of their training, the journalists visited the reknown Melbourne Zoo and they will also tour other conservation sites in Hobart.
farmer basking in sunset. PHOTO BY HARTANTO
FOOD STOCK is insufficient level and prone to the threat of food insecurity as demands grow.Vice President Boediono said Indonesia is rich in natural resources, but it’s not able to enhance the food productivity to a safe level. Continue reading
Hi my name is Rozalee, I work as a senior reporter/producer for the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation’s News and Current Affairs Division.
I am currently in Melbourne for the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre‘s Climate Change Reporting Fellowship and I hope to untilize what I gain from this training to better report on the issue of Climate Change in the Solomon Islands and also in the wider pacific region. 🙂