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We need a united Pacific approach to climate change


THE impact of global climate change is one of many pressures faced by Pacific island states.

One of the approaches to address this problem is to identify local factors and practices that contribute to climate change.

This includes poor agricultural practices, animal herding on a commercial scale, excessive use of wood for fuel, burning household waste and similar bad habits.

Local practices that change weather dynamics must be identified, like increased deforestation leading to issues that may affect rainfall or wind patterns.

Papua New Guinea has lost of over 60% of its rainforest through deforestation and logging. More than this, commercial agriculture reduces forest cover eliminating the effective role it plays in maintaining climate balance.

Enforcing protection of vulnerable areas is both environmentally friendly and economically viable. This includes imposing marine protected areas and terrestrial protected areas.

Work done by Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas organisation should be expanded with more island states joining. Establishing no-take-for-life areas can also be beneficial as they create a safe haven for threatened species.

All of these initiatives can become part of a reconciliation ecology plan. Eliminating discrimination against more susceptible groups like the disabled, elderly, women and children must also be addressed.

Inclusivity in the management plan maintains respect for the sustainable use of resources.

Solutions to the impacts of impending climate change may well lie within our own Pacific shores if our leaders cooperate.

Recent divisive situations within the island states’ political arena have unfortunately impacted on conservation work.

There have been some poor decisions made  by the executive arm of government together with biased policies and a neglect of the proper protocols.

There needs to be a concerted effort to topple these infuriating and damaging phenomena that have rattled the ‘Pacific Way’.


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