BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
THE United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) is urging Solomon Islands to act now for climate change.
The call is made following the 2018 report compiled by the Inter-governmental panel on climate change (IPCC) which highlighted increasing rate of sea-level rise by 0.5 degree Celsius.
It was reported the consequences of climate change in terms of extreme weather, rising sea level and other environment related issues at an alarming rate are result of climate change.
UNDP Country Manager Ms Azusa Kubota said, “We need to reduce carbon emissions now and for Solomon Islands to protect forest and plant new trees.
“By 2050 there’ll be more plastic than fish in our oceans. A world we know today will not be there in 20 to 30 years. The clock is ticking very fast and I want you to know as young leaders, there is no time, we must act now,” she said.
She urges young people in the country to act now saying the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is everybody’s business.
She said, “It’s not the responsibility of the government alone, every one of us, weather you’re a young person, a business leader, public sector official—everybody has the role to play in making sure we make progress towards SDGs.”
Globally, more than 109 countries negotiate the Paris Agreement on climate change and under the Inter-governmental panel on climate change (IPCC it was aimed to reduce fossil fuel by 1.5 degree Celsius.
This high level public private sector dialogue took place against backdrop of alarming news which comes from the 2018 report by the Inter-governmental panel on climate change (IPCC).
From the 2018 IPCC report Ms Kubota said scientists have painted the most vivid picture world have ever had between a temperature rises of 1.5 degree versus 2 degrees—this 0.5 degree difference makes world difference.
She explained the 0.5 degree Celsius will result with more heat waves for tens of millions of people for a greater loss of species and increase water scarcity in some parts of the world.
“This may means some communities in Solomon Islands would be under water at a rate much faster than what we expected, and more communities might suffer from chronicle lack of water due to sea level rise,” she said.
Following the experiences country now facing, UNDP Solomon Islands is calling saying such requires urgent and far more ambitious actions to cut emission by half by 2030 and with zero net emission by 2050.
Meanwhile, on regional scale over the past half century, there has been significant migration to coastal towns and cities, where flat land is available for agriculture, tourism and urban growth.
With the movement it has put pressure on water resources and agriculture, led to the clearance of mangroves, polluted lagoons, reduced the habitat of coastal fisheries, increased coastal erosion, and put communities at greater risk from flooding.
Following the activities already happened, a Pacific Marine Climate Change Report Card 2018 stated climate change is expected to exacerbate these pressures and have profound effects on human settlements.
In many cases, the report highlighted poor will suffer most since they live on land prone to coastal flooding and pollution, and are most reliant on the sea for food.
It is imperative that climate change adaptation begins now.
It is recommended flexible management systems, that are adaptive over time, are urgently needed which connect terrestrial and marine systems, link different sectors of government and industry and provide long-term planning solutions.
It is significant as well to engage social and cultural groups as fundamental part of successful climate action and their inclusion will benefit efforts to build climate change resilience.
Communities should be involved in research and knowledge collection, in decision-making, and in actions and programme and project outputs.
Enduring engagement of culture and traditional knowledge will help ensure the effectiveness of resilience strategies.