Climate change is a serious problem for Pacific Island nations, who often battle flooding, coastal erosion and rising sea levels on their own. How can industrialised nations like Australia assist them?
The people of the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati are already experiencing climate change through their exposure to rising sea levels, coastal erosion and flooding, which have adverse effects on groundwater supply, sanitation, biodiversity and food production. Due to its small size, low-lying topography, and economic marginalisation, Kiribati is extremely vulnerable to climate change, and if its people are unable to adjust to climate change, they face significant challenges.
Despite climate change already causing severe problems, large adaptive measures have barely begun. This is both an environmental and human rights issue, as people who have not caused climate change are forced to cope with the consequences, and often without the support of industrialised nations.
Our speakers at this event will explore the challenges faced by the people of Kiribati and other vulnerable Pacific Island nations and examine how climate change will exacerbate these issues. The questions that will be explored are: What impact will climate change have on Kiribati’s islands, identity, culture and heritage? How can cooperation between nations in the region be strengthened? What political and legislative actions can be taken in Australia to assist Pacific Island nations in climate change adaptation?
Join us and hear from Anote Tong, former president of Kiribati, one of the world’s most prominent advocates for global action on climate change and a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. Tong will discuss his climate change advocacy, the role of wealthy industrialised nations such as Australia in climate action and the need for global recognition of the threat that climate change presents for Kiribati and other vulnerable Pacific Island nations.
This event was held at the University of Sydney on Wednesday 24 October 2018.
Image: South Tarawa, Kiribati by Robert Szymanski. Sourced via Shutterstock. Stock photo ID: 455162137.
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