Sunday, 22 May 2011

Pacific Climate Change Science Program HEAD ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE PACIFIC

05 April 2011 - Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

Global efforts need to be re- doubled, highlighted and re-focused on mitigation.

Head of the Pacific Climate Change Science Program, PCCSP, Dr Gillian Cambers was speaking to pacific journalists in an interview at the Greenhouse 2011 Conference.

Dr Cambers said the focus from recent years from a lot of aid agencies and countries has been and still is on adaptation.

“I think we have to re-double our efforts, to really highlight and focus again, as we did before Copenhagen on mitigation, I think that’s really the message we need to keep hammering, hammering home”.

“Yes we need to adapt, there are certain aspects of Climate Change we know are happening, we’ve got to adapt to them, but unless we really face the hard decisions which are involved in mitigation, then we’re not addressing the issue at all “, said Dr Cambers.

Meanwhile the head of the PCCSP said with the results that are being produced by the project at the end of the year which will give the best possible science that’s available now and on how things are going to change in the future, pacific island countries will be able to develop their own policies as to which areas that will be tackled first.

The PCCSP is a three year initiative funded by AusAid and managed by the Australian Government’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency with the aim of working with the 14 pacific island countries and East Timor to understand how the climate has changed in the past, what it is doing now and how it will change in the future.

Dr Cambers said they have been working closely with the countries, in particular the National Meteorological Services and Environment Departments and regional organisations such as SPREP, SPC and USP and many other organisations to undertake research that needs to be done to look at how the climate changed over the last 30 years.

She said the information will be then built into a database which will be used to project what will happen in the next 30 to 50 years as carbon dioxide levels increase in a warming planet.

Dr Cambers also explained that the PCCSP consists of three components research, capacity building and information sharing.

“With regards to capacity building we have held several regional workshops involving National Meteorological Services and also representatives from Ministries of Environments  Fisheries and Finance to basically share with them the information we’re continually finding out about past climate and future climate”, she said.

She also revealed that the project has this year started a series of in-country visits to all 14 pacific island countries and East Timor twice to install and provide training for a climate database management system where all the observations and information can be stored.

“ It’s a tool that we call Clyde,  and we have so far done four visits to Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Tonga but we’re steadily working through every country as the year progresses”, Dr Cambers said.

The PCCSP Head said they were also doing a second series of in-country visits where they will be sharing information on how the climate change in the future or projections.

“We’ll be providing training to the Met Service Representatives and also other ministries along with a software tool called Climate Futures so everybody will be able to see what the best scientific projected changes in climate are for each country”, she said.

Meanwhile the Greenhouse 2011 has now ended its first two days of sessions. Tomorrow’s program includes a tour to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest in Cairns.
Sessions at the conference are focussed on oceans atmosphere biosphere climate modelling climate change projections climate variability extreme events impacts and adaptation biodiversity policy and economics and communicating climate change.

Coverage of the GreenHouse2011 conference in Cairns written by Rozalee Nongebatu of the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.

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