A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Posted 4:42 PM by Tevita
Pacific islands suffer signs of climate change
From: ScienceAlert Australia & New Zealand
NIWA Science Small islands, including those in the South Pacific, are already experiencing the effects of climate change, according to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Key findings from the IPCC’s Working Group II chapter on small islands are being released today as part of a worldwide series of regional briefings on the IPCC report about climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.
Penehuro Lefale, of the New Zealand Meteorological Service (MetService), is one of the lead authors of the small islands chapter. He says the report identifies small islands, including those in the South Pacific, as one of four regions of the world likely to be especially affected by climate change. (The other three regions are: the Arctic, Africa, and Asian megadeltas).
Observed climate trends cited by the small islands chapter include:
Future climate change projections include:
"Climate change is likely to heavily impact coral reefs, fisheries and other marine-based resources of small islands of the Pacific," he says. "There is likely to be a decline in the total tuna stocks and a migration of these stocks westwards, both of which will lead to changes in the catch in different islands."
According to the report, "Sea-level rise is expected to exacerbate inundation, storm surge, erosion, and other coastal hazards, thus threatening vital infrastructure, settlements, and facilities that support the livelihood of island communities." For example, says Pene Lefale, "international airports on many small islands are mostly sited on or close to the coast, and the main – and often only – road network runs along the coast. Under sea-level rise scenarios, many of them are likely to be at serious risk."
The report says climate change is expected by mid-century to reduce water resources in many small islands, including those in the Pacific, "to the point where they become insufficient to meet demand during low rainfall periods."
"We’re also likely to see impacts on other sectors such as food security, human health, insurance, and tourism," says Lefale. "For example, if the intensity of tropical cyclones increases, a concomitant rise in significant damage to food crops and infrastructure is likely.
Tropical Cyclone Ofa in 1990 turned Niue from a food-exporting country to one dependent on imports for the following two years, and Heta in 2004 had an even greater impact on agricultural production in Niue. In the health sector, many small islands currently suffer high health burdens from climate sensitive diseases, including morbidity and mortality from extreme weather events, certain vector borne diseases, food–and water–borne diseases. Increasing temperatures and decreasing water availability due to changes in extreme weather and El Niño Southern Oscillation events may increase burdens of climate sensitive diseases such as diarrhoeal and other infectious diseases in some small islands. With regard to tourism, deterioration in coastal conditions, such as through beach erosion or coral bleaching, is expected to reduce the value of these destinations for tourism."
"Adapting to climate change is a challenge for many small islands," he says. "Past studies of adaptation options for small islands have been largely focused on adjustments to sea level rise and storm surges associated with tropical cyclones, with emphasis on protecting land through hard shore protection measures rather than on other measures such as accommodating sea level rise or retreating from it. More recent studies have identified major areas of adaptation, including water resources and water shed management, reef conservation, agricultural and forest management, conservation of biodiversity, energy security, increased development of renewable energy, and optimised energy consumption."
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