HCC lags in climate emergency declaration

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By EDDIE OSIFELO

HONIARA City Council is still to make any progress on the issue of climate change to date.

This is after former City Mayor, Wilson Mamae declared a Climate Emergency on behalf of Honiara City Council on Friday, September 20, 2019.

The Declaration is a bold step which reflects the Council’s determination to support its communities in regards to the threat of climate change.

Current Mayor, Eddie Siapu said there is still no work done on it after the launching.

HCC Chief Health Inspector in the Environmental Health Division, George Titulu said he is not aware of this matter.

However, Titulu said his division has introduced the Environmental Learning City.

He said under this project, the Council provides environmental learning facilities to the communities.

One officer of UN Habitat who used to work at HCC said one of the setbacks is because there is no climate change officer in the Council.

He said there are Planning officers there but they are busy with daily applications.

During the launching, former Mayor Mamae said climate change is “truly the challenge of our generation. It will affect our lands and oceans, it will affect our flora and fauna, and it will affect our people and cultures”.

He said all of the climate change challenges Solomon Islands as a whole faces, Honiara City also faces.

Mamae noted that these challenges include flooding, landslides and erosion, health effects, higher temperatures and changes in growing seasons for farmers.

He said it was for this reason that the Council declared a climate emergency.

Mamae noted that emergencies had been announced in countries and cities including the UK, New York, Paris and Auckland, but that Honiara’s declaration makes it a climate leader in the Pacific.

He said the key affirmation in the document – that the Council “affirms, as Solomon Islands Government did in the Kainaki II declaration endorsed at the Fiftieth Pacific Islands Forum, that climate change is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of Solomon Islands”.

As a response to climate change, Mamae said the range of steps the Council is taking.

“This includes the drafting and implementation of new policy around climate change and disaster management, as well as continuing a range of strategic partnerships to support Honiara communities in regards to climate change.

“These partnerships include UN-Habitat’s ‘Climate Resilient Honiara’; World Bank with the CAUSE project; and the LEAF project supported by JICA,” he said.

He said that “our government and Council are just part of the solution. We need input and participation from communities across the city and country to ensure real action is taken on climate change. We thank all of you in civil society organisations, school programmes and church and community groups who have already demonstrated real leadership and courage in that regard”.


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