Posted by : Quoting Radio New Zealand Posted on : 25-Aug-2020

Climate change the greater world threat needing well-resourced healthcare systems essential for protection of health care threats and climate change.

In another of Jeremy Gwao’s illuminating articles, in today’s Solomon Times Online, he tells the story of Joseph Dili from Gwaedalo village in the Langalanga lagoon who is witnessing the impact of climate change.

Quoting Jeremy’ piece, he wrote:

“In villages throughout Solomon Islands, particularly coastal communities, one does not need science to prove the impact of climate change. Sea level rise is the most notable impact of climate change.

“The sea has crept inland and has reached places we have not seen it reach before”, Mr. Joseph Dili says.

Joseph Dili has spent most of his life in the village thus has a good understanding of the issues faced by his people.

He says as the sea continues to rise, it will pose more threat to people’s lives, more than before. Dili says the issues faced now also include man-made destruction to the environment.

"It is time that we should start looking at stopping the dynamite practices by using the traditional fishing methods and at least we work on ways to start conserving our mangroves and lagoon," he says.

“Mangroves protect coastlines and also treat polluted waters. Restoring mangrove forests is one way scientists have sought to defend coastal communities from the ravages of climate change. For those in Langalanga lagoon, the mangroves also serve as a source of income and food for their livelihood.

“The people of Langalanga had an extensive local fishing knowledge, passed down from generations before. But under the pressure of cultural change, much of this tradition was lost. Fishermen now opt to use dynamites and other unsustainable methods of fishing causing damage to the marine ecosystem.

“For Mr.Dili he says in the past, life was simple. He says a lot has changed now even for them in the village. He says if people are not careful, there will be nothing left for the future generation to enjoy.

Solomon Islands have recorded an alarming rate of sea level rise.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that a 7mm sea-level rise has been observed for the country between 1994 and 2014. This rate is said to be alarming compared to the global average of 3.2mm.

When it comes to sea level rise, the Langalanga people are very susceptible as they live on small artificial islands built on sand bars.

"There will be hardship for our next generation. And I'm sorry to see the changes”, Dili says.

End of quote.

While much of our attention is directed to fighting coronavirus, or warding the virus off, as is the case in the Solomon Islands, many prominent leaders, academics and business leaders, including Bill Gates, are saying climate change poses a greater world threat than Covid-19.

In the United Kingdom, for example, Lord Deben, the chairman of the Government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change likened global warming to a “pandemic which is significantly more long-lasting and damaging than Covid-19”

Failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero to curb climate change will be far more damaging than the coronavirus pandemic, a Catholic peer has warned.

He issued the stark warning as he spoke to MPs on the Parliamentary Business Committee.

The Catholic Universe reported last week that the peer’s committee has set out opportunities to build a green recovery, boosting the economy and driving down emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050 – a legally binding target for the UK.

But Lord Deben has now gone further, warning MPs that missing the opportunity “leads to disaster”.

He said: “If we miss this opportunity we have no chance of meeting our net-zero target. If we don’t do that, the world will be afflicted by a pandemic significantly more long-lasting and damaging than Covid-19.”

 “It is both essential and hugely beneficial that we have a recovery that is green and resilient, one that covers both reducing our emissions, but also preparing the country for changes in climate we have ahead.”

Source Catholic Universe.

Quoting a recent report by the World Economic Forum, I read:

“There are, to a certain degree, parallels that can be drawn between the current COVID-19 pandemic and some of the other contemporary crises our world is facing. All require a global-to-local response and long-term thinking; all need to be guided by science and need to protect the most vulnerable among us; and all require the political will to make fundamental changes when faced with existential risks.

“In this sense, the 2020 coronavirus pandemic may lead to a deeper understanding of the ties that bind us all on a global scale and could help us get to grips with the largest public health threat of the century, the climate crisis.

 “The World Health Organization (WHO is seeing the devastating consequences of under-prepared health systems when they are faced with these increasingly regular shocks. Some of these health impacts have a clear climate change signature, such as the increasing frequency and strength of extreme weather events or the expanding range and spread of vector-borne diseases like malaria or dengue.”

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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