by Quinton Alomp – EMTV, Port Moresby
The sea level in PNG is expected to rise by close to one centimetre by 2030.
Food and water supplies from small islands in PNG and the Pacific will be affected.
The rising sea level is expected to change the way of life for coastal communities. Experts from the Pacific Climate Change Science Group predicted a seven millimetre increase in sea level for PNG from the current global average of 2.88 millimetres per year.
But for Carteret Islanders, the figure is even worse. For them, it was predicted that the sea level may rise up to 10 centimetres over the next 20 years. This means people have to be resettled.
World Vision Technical Advisor for Climate Change Adaptation, Bonie Belonio, said this will have a serious impact on government funding, infrastructure, health and education.
“It will have a lot of social implication,” Belonio said.
Already people are feeling the impact of rising sea levels eating away their shoreline. Besides this, temperatures are also increasing.
Belonio said this will affect the government’s intention to eradicate malaria before 2050.
In a meeting to identify risks and vulnerabilities to climate hazards held today, Belonio said climate change risks are controllable but the challenge is in how to convey technical messages to people, so they understand and are able to help mitigate climate change.