Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sharing lessons learnt for future action

By Rosalie Nongebatu - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

L - R Jo Mummery, David Sheppard, James Bartley, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi,
Prime Minister of Samoa
Apia, Samoa - “Adaptation to climate change including how that will change our exposure and risks from natural disasters is a very complex issue.”

Those words by Jo Mummery of the Australian Government’ s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency was to help provide an overview of the Lessons for Future Action Conference now underway in Apia, Samoa.

Ms Mummery says there is uncertainty in how much the climate will change and in some areas it is not known what it means for the different stresses and how that will then impact on societies, industries and environments.

“There is a lot we yet don’t know about how much adaptation is needed and when it is needed, and importantly we don’t necessarily know yet whether actions we take now will continue to be effective in the future, as climate changes more”.

Because of this complexity, participants at the conference need to share their experiences and to reflect on what has been done to date and whether it has worked.  There is also the need to draw upon all the relevant expertise to face future climate change challenges.

 “All knowledge and capacity that will help manage the magnitude of this challenge, knowledge from what has been done, not designed for future climates, and understanding and consideration about what’s been done somewhere else maybe relevant to a specific region or country”.

It is also hoped that experiences will be shared between regions, donors and small island developing states around the world to help understand the challenges faced by SIDS and a way forward.

The conference began on Monday and has participants from throughout the different Small Islands Developing States (SIDS).  Two key issues are the theme for each day -  discussions on these issues are prompted by a panel of presentations made by people from different areas.  A break out group is formed after the presentations for people to look at solutions and think of ways we can best move forward.

The conference is funded by the Australian Government and coordinated by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, SPREP.

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