Ads by Google Ads by Google

Awareness key to addressing climate change

Climate change. Two words that mean more to Samoa than many other nations.Like all other Island States, Samoa is confronted on a daily basis by the reality of global warming and what the future for will mean for us if the problems associated with it are not dealt with now.To help communities understand this issue, regional journalists are currently participating in a five-day workshop being run by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).The training sessions are a partnership between SPREP;the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; and, AUSAid.SPREP General Manager David Sheppard welcomed programme participants from 11 Pacific Island Countries, including Samoa, yesterday to the workshop being run at their Vailima offices.Mr. Sheppard said the project is part of SPREP’s “media outreach” program to “to help strengthen a pool of Pacific reporters equipped with the skills to report on environmental issues.”“SPREP works to help build the capacity of Pacific reporters,” he said.“SPREP understands the role and value of Pacific media in helping communities be informed about the value of our environment.“This year we continue with our outreach under the PACCSAP project and will launch resources as well as a fellowship for Pacific reporters to provide media support at the meetings in July.“We look forward to a productive week.”Keynote speaker Australian High Commissioner Dr. Stephen Henningham stressed the importance of understanding climate change especially in the Pacific.“As we all know, small island countries are highly vulnerable to climate change,” he said in his speech.“In this century, the outlook is for higher temperatures, rising sea-levels, ocean acidification, more extreme weather events and more variable rainfall patterns.”“All this will impact on human health, infrastructure, fresh water availability, agriculture, fisheries, marine ecosystems and tourism.”“Clear and effective communication is vital to build awareness and empower communities and governments to take action to reduce vulnerability to the risks of climate change.”DrHenningham said in recent years, SPREP has built up a strong media outreach program.