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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Climate change paints a gloomy future for small Pacific Island countries

Pacific Islanders could be forced out of their homes if a United Nations report on climate change is anything to go by.

The author of the small islands section of the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, Graham Sem warns of depleted fish stocks, massive storm surges and more intense weather patterns in the region. Some small atolls may also disappear as sea levels rise.

Mr Sem says more havoc is forecast for the Pacific than anywhere else, especially as key infrastructure is often located on the coastline.

"For some islands, they are able to move the infrastructure inland. For some the choices are very limited. In Tuvalu, on the island of Funafuti, which has about 5000 people, it's very hard to move inland because it's already very crowded. So, the long-term solution would be to migrate."

Mr Sem says the effects of global warming are already evident and the future looks gloomy for small Pacific Island countries.

Source: Fiji Times

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