Community’s adaption to climate change will be dependent on the rate at which environmental changes will occur.

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DEAR EDITOR, according to a recent article published in the Island Sun newspaper and from which I quote.

“The Office of the Auditor-General has conducted a Performance Audit on Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies. This was in recognition of the impact that Climate Change has and will have on islands in the Solomon Islands.”

Arising from that report the article went on to say –

“The National Climate Change Policy needs to be updated. There needs to be a Food Security Policy developed. There needs to be sufficient budget provision from Parliament to ensure effective policies exist and to ensure that ministries have sufficient resources to implement them effectively and in full. “Solomon Islands cannot stop the rise in sea level but it can become one of the best prepared countries in the world to deal with its consequences and ensure that its people can not only survive but prosper in the post-climate change world.”

When it comes to adaption it should be understood that only when there is likely to be a slow-onset in prolonged environmental changes that communities will have time to react and possibly adapt, but should climate change bring about rapid environmental events, such as frequent cyclones, increased sea levels and inland flooding, people will rarely have any other option but to move to higher ground, if possible, or to migrate.

Already in Kiribati increasingly frequent king tides and storm surges, floods and longer droughts are new, unwelcome additions to the islander’s way of life

Sea level rise has turned freshwater resources salty, rendering the land unable to grow staple crops such as coconut and taro, and eating away the shoreline.

Islanders are being told that they may have to abandon their islands, the places where their ancestors have been buried, where their children have a home and an identity.

Small Pacific nations are increasingly under threat from climate change not of their own making and it is time that those nations, corporations and leaders accept the science and lower carbon emissions, as outlined and agreed upon at the Paris Climate Conference.

If they value the continuing betterment of all nations and an interconnected world, they must take the action that is necessary to preserve the way of life for future generations to enjoy.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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