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September 02, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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A church in Fiji is standing up to preach its members on the effect of climate change in Fiji and the Pacific.

Speaking at the annual conference of the New Life Churches of Fiji in Suva this week, Deputy Director-General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP) Kosi Latu in a statement said Climate change ‘most serious threat facing the Pacific’.

Latu said climate change is potentially the most serious long-term threat to the development and survival of the Pacific people.
Addressing the opening of a church conference in Suva, Latu said when bigger countries talked about climate change; it was really about changing their economy from being a fossil fuel-based economy to a renewable energy-based economy because the burning of fossil fuels is the primary contributor to climate change.

He told the delegates that the big countries, climate change is all about changing the economy. But for us here in the region, it’s much more than that. It’s about our survival.

He said relocation has already happened in some islands in the Pacific. It has happened in PNG, in Vanuatu; they actually helped one island in Vanuatu to relocate people from an atoll to a higher island where they much safer.

While the impact will vary from country to country, the low lying islands of the Pacific are going to be more affected because they’re much more vulnerable.

He said our food systems, our agriculture patterns, even health, our fisheries, infrastructure, water, tourism which we depend on so much – all those sectors of the economy are going to be potentially affected.   

By Ropate Valemei

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