Wednesday, 28 November 2007 2:47 PM

Solomons at Serious Risk from Effects of Climate Change

Solomon Islands is among the world's lowest emitters of carbon emissions, yet it is one of the countries at serious risk from the effects of climate change.

This is according to the 2007/2008 Human Development Report on climate change launched in Honiara today.

The report, "Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world", explores the potentially disastrous developmental effects of climate change.

Each year, the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Annual Human Development Report examines a different development issue.

It was revealed in the report that small-island developing states such as Solomon Islands are on the front line of climate change, and could suffer catastrophic damage.

The report found that for many low-lying small-island states, rising sea levels and storms point to a highly predictable social, economic and ecological crisis.

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Solomon Islands, Richard Dictus, said rising sea levels could seriously affect many coastal communities in Solomon Islands.

"Flooding caused by global temperature increases of 3-4 degrees Centigrade could result the permanent or temporary displacement of people living in low-lying areas," he added.

Mr. Dictus noted that people's livelihood will also be impacted, as fishing grounds and garden plots will be affected.

"Some scientific models also suggest that climate change could bring about an increase in malaria and other diseases."

Citing upcoming climate change negotiations in Bali, Indonesia, in December, Mr. Dictus emphasized that the predicted impacts of climate change may be reduced if countries join together to reduce carbon emissions and to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

"Deforestation is a key source in growing emissions worldwide and in the Pacific, but carbon trading and carbon banking have the potential to reverse this trend," observes Mr. Dictus. "It is recognized that the long-term benefits of forest conservation outweigh the short-term profits of logging."