11 May 2010

PNG government urged to prepare for severe drought

10:29 am on 11 May 2010

A leading climate change scientist says it's essential that Papua New Guinea's government takes urgent steps to prepare for a severe drought which is expected to affect the country around 2012.

Scientists at PNG's National Agriculture Research Institute has warned that the country can expect a mega-drought in 2012 which could last for up to 18 months, posing major health risks and food shortages around the country.

The Institute's principal scientist, Dr John Bailey, says that developing sustainable water supply and adaptable crop production systems is imperative.

"We do have to do something and relatively urgently because it will take time to do all of this. It doesn't just happen over night or even over months. it's going to take a year or a few years to get all this sorted out. We will hopefully see an iniative taken in the next two or three months to start off a taskforce of different organisations brought together to sort of address this particular issue."

Dr John Bailey.