13 Oct 2008

Delegates start arriving for climate change talks in Samoa

4:14 pm on 13 October 2008

Regional talks on how small island states could better adapt to climate change are being held in Samoa this week.

Pacific leaders appealed to the United Nations General Assembly last month for urgent measures to help them combat and adapt to the ongoing effects of rising sea levels and rising temperatures.

The leaders will join other delegates, including donors, for a gathering organised by the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme.

Sara Vui Talitu reports from Apia.

"Adapting to climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the region and affects the economic social and environmental sectors of countries. Already Pacific Islands have experienced more frequent and extreme weather events such as storm surges and El Nino like conditions, but the impact on low lying atolls like Kiribati and Tuvalu is even greater as they are now in danger of being inundated by rising sea levels sooner than expected. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on climate change said that climate change is manmade, but adapting to it is possible if there is political will to act. The Pacific Climate Change Roundtable was formed after leaders adopted their Framework for Action on the matter in 2005 and SPREP made responsible for developing and reviewing the plan with input from relevant stakeholders."