Daily Management Review

Forced by Climate Change, Pacific Nations Beg to Rich Nations for Help for Islanders


Forced by Climate Change, Pacific Nations Beg to Rich Nations for Help for Islanders
In case the people in the countries are forced to flee their homelands because of the consequences of climate change, the wealthy countries should to help their people migrate and find work.
This is the plea that Pacific island nations have sent to the wealthy countries.
The last resort for a coalition of low-lying island nations was moving people because of rising sea levels, storms and ruined agriculture, the nations said in the plea.

The plea said that the “calamity” of climate change required the industrialized countries to devise a plan to save the people from these countries by providing alternative livelihood and refuge.
Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tokelau were “gravely concerned over the lack of effective international response to climate change” that posed “major existential challenges” to their populations and cultures, the nations said in a joint statement after a summit in Kiribati the Pacific nations.
The Pacific nations acutely affected by climate have called for an international body to be set up to coordinate population movement caused by climate change. An early draft of a UN agreement to be negotiated at climate talks in Paris in December had included the creation of such a body but the idea was discarded last week as countries like Australia opposed it even as countries including Britain, the US and France were open to the concept.
The draft for the body had included aid to raise buildings above predicted sea level increases and safeguard water supplies from saltwater intrusion and the funding for health and education programs.
The Pacific leaders said that the wealthy nations should “prepare our people for ‘migration with dignity’, and make them capable of contributing to other nations’ economies and development processes as skilled migrant workers.
The UN administered green climate fund is accessible to the developing nations to help adapt to or mitigate climate change. $100bn in “climate finance” were ot be provided as agreed upon by nations in the 2009 Copenhagen climate meet. However this target has not been met and will be debated again at the Paris talks.
At present there is no international body that oversees the orderly movement of people because of climate change impacts. There is no mention of climate refugee in the UN refugee convention which only applies to those fleeing persecution. There is also a growing concept that the richest nations have little appetite to expand its definition to include “climate refugees.
It is predicted by experts that up to 250 million people may be displaced worldwide due to climate change by the year 2050.
With the sea level that is rising by 1.2cm a year - four times faster than the global average, the people living on coral atolls in the Pacific are considered particularly vulnerable. Many communities have been forced out of their habitats in these countries due to coastal erosion, tainted water supplies and failing crops.
Australia has been criticized by a section of the nations facing the challenge of not doing anything to help the estranged people even though it is the richest country in the region.
Australia should do more given its clout in the region, feels David Ritter the chief executive of Greenpeace Australia.
“Australia is the richest, largest country in the region, so to sit back and say we are doing enough is pathetic really. People in the Pacific are very polite but privately the view of Australia is very clear: this is a country not doing enough. There’s a view that Australia is putting coal ahead of people,” said Ritter, who attended the Kiribati summit.
(Source:www.theguardian.com & www.ibtimes.com) 

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