Thursday, 20 November 2008 3:24 PM

Is Honiara Heating up?

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank Ambrose, Lionel and Hiba for the contribution to the climate change issue. Lionel's comment about the 'BIG' issue of taking appropriate action now must be reiterated as Hiba has early mentioned.

Small Islands States are the most vulnerable as Hiba rightly mentioned. Apart from other impact of climate change Small Pacific Islands States are vulnerable to sea-level rise.

Our neighbours from Carteret Island in Bougainville are said to be the first environmental refugees. Last month the Bougainville Autonomous Government is in final stages of identifying areas on the Bougainville main island to resettle them. Food crop yield has been dramatically reduced in the recent past due to inundation (similar stories have been highlighted in the media has occured in Ontong Java and Rennell). Coastal erosion is reducing the island at a must faster phase.

Looking around Honiara, at the Rove bus stop area since 1998, coastal erosion has removed about 20 metres of land. In other islands in the Solomons this may have been worst. In my part of the Solomon, Eastern Santa Cruz (Akaboi Island) people are slowly moving to the mainland be sea is creeping into their homes. I was one of the first victims.

At this point, let me once again say that the time to act is now. Tomorrow will be too late. CNURA policies art significant as Hiba has alluded to. However, the important thing is to get thing happen on the ground. Put mechanisms in place to sure that such policies are effectively implemented.

On this note, I would like to make reference to Hiba's comments about a Journalist's assertion to 'Al Gore being our Noah' for in documentary movie (Inconvenient Truth). At this point in time 'thank you for being our Noah' should not be said to DR. Derick Sukua and his team as Hiba seems to imply. The CNURA government has policies that reflect climate change awareness, mitigation and adaptation issues as priorities areas. The government also in its policy statements upholds its commitments to international treaties and protocols relating to climate change. Only if these policies are implemented can one make such assertion.

I may, at this point acknowledge the establishment of the Climate Change Division at the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Meteorology. I will just hope of that this will lead to the establishment of the Designated National Authority (DNA). The DNA is important in a climate change impact mitigation perspective in that it will coordinate and facilitate development projects (Clean Development Mechanism -CDM projects) that aim at reducing CO2 emissions or reducing the impacts of climate. In the meantime, Solomon Islands is still without a DNA, although it is a party (signatory of) to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Solomon Islands urgently needs to establish an active DNA office. This is to ensure that we tap necessary resource (financial or technical) that we can have access to given our commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. The NDA is very paramount as far as the approval and implementation of CDM projects are concerned. Projects that can be come CDM projects include renewable energy projects like hydro, solar and wind energy project. Relaying more on these sources of energy means using less of fossil fuel and enhance emitting less of CO2 and other green house gases.

In the international front, the situation looks brighter and promising, I think. The first thing that Mr. Kevin Rudd did that sees the international community nodding their heads is ratifying/signing the Kyoto Protocol weeks after becoming the next Aussie Prime Minister.

The US is a really headache during Mr. Bush's regime in relation to the Kyoto Protocol and the climate change issue. With Mr. Obama becoming the next US president next year thing will for sure change. Already he had promised that he would 'engage vigorously in global climate change talks and that denial was no longer an acceptable response to global warming'.

Obama said in a surprise video message to an international conference on climate change hosted by five US state governors here that he would show new leadership on the issue as soon as he takes office in January. The president-elect also addressed his message directly to delegates at United Nations climate change talks in Poland next month.

"While I won't be president at the time of your meeting and while the United States has only one president at a time, I've asked members of Congress who are attending the conference as observers to report back to me on what they learn there," Obama said.

"And once I take office, you can be sure that the United States will once again engage vigorously in these negotiations, and help lead the world toward a new era of global co-operation on climate change.

"Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all. Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high. The consequences, too serious."

Obama said his administration would establish annual targets that would aim to reduce emission levels to 1990 levels by 2020, an ambitious goal that has already been adopted by California.

This is good news for the international community and Small Island states.

I request contribution from Mr. George Hoaau.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Wilson Luwii and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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