Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Less climate change talk - more action needed

By Mona Ainu’u – Broadcasting Corporation of Niue

Closing Bulletin, June 20011, Apia Samoa - The climate change predicament facing the Pacific low-lying island states is a crisis that communities hope will be addressed with effective adaptation plans, and less talking.  The call for action was raised by several different people attending the “Lessons for Future Action’ meeting on climate change adaptation in Samoa this month.

 “There are too many procedures and not enough actions, there are too many adaptation and task forces for this and that, and actions are not being taken.  Communities are tired they need answers right away,” said Singeo Franz of the National Emergency Management office of Palau.

Claire Aniterea of the CAN Kiribati network and Caritas, also said she feels there are still too many procedural processes and not enough action.

“As an NGO we want to see more action with our own environment on how to adapt to the changes, but it’s also good to documents things that have being done and also need both talk, document, but important to do something about it.”

Alongside this are other issues in each country which they feel needs to be addressed to help improve Kiribati and Palau adapt to the climate change impacts better.

For Palau, the examples of different government ministries working together to address climate change has been an eye opener.  Franz explained he has spent time at the meeting learning from Tonga and the Federated States of Micronesia as these countries have merged the teams focusing on climate change and disaster risk management for effective response.

“I was trying to get information on how they did it, and for that their leaders agree to merge into one, as for Palau we’d like to be united like that, and because climate change can cause disasters, and that’s where we come in”.

In Kiribati sharing the climate change message with the whole population is one of the issues to be addressed believes Aniterea who works with communities and has learnt that the science needs to be communicated to all in a way everyone understands.

“We need to bring the science background in a simple way so the people get the message, if we try to explain climate change with graphs and all, then it is not effective for my people.  We need to make the science so they understand.

Both Aniterea and Franz attended the Lessons for Future Action meeting on climate change adaptation in Samoa.

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