Tag Archives: climate change


Obama welcomes Kiribati diplomat

Kiribati familyBairiki, Tarawa – 27 May 2014

The President of the United States of America, His Excellency Barack Obama welcomed Kiribati’s Ambassador to the United States – Her Excellency Makurita Baaro, at the White House Oval Office in a Presentation of Credential ceremony last week.

During the ceremony, Ambassador Baaro conveyed the warm greetings of President Anote Tong, the Government and people of Kiribati to President Obama and his family and through him to the Government and people of the United States.

Ambassador Baaro highlighted the importance that Kiribati accords to its historic ties and relationship with the Government and people of the United States and her commitment and that of her country to work on strengthening these diplomatic and people to people ties during her tenure as Kiribati Ambassador to the United States.

Ambassador Baaro also highlighted during the credentials ceremony the challenges facing her people from climate change and the need for global action to address the plight of frontline states like Kiribati who are now experiencing these challenges from rise in sea levels, coastal erosion, ocean acidification and the growing brackishness of ground water sources.

“We are doing what we can at the national level to address these challenges but Kiribati just cannot do it alone,” She added.

Ambassador Baaro emphasized that “This is one challenge that is larger than any of us and one that requires collective global action. We look to the global leadership of the United States of America to assist frontline states like Kiribati to mobilise and gain the much needed traction for global action to address the climate calamity that is not only affecting us. It is affecting us now but will eventually affect the whole global community.”

In extending a warm welcome to Ambassador Baaro, President Obama said that “your presence in the United States is very timely because of the compelling and sobering story Kiribati has to share with the world regarding the threat climate change poses to your people. As Ambassador to United States and Permanent Representative to the UN, I encourage you to be a strong advocate for an ambitious global response to climate change.”

President Obama added that “The United States stands with you in this mission, both for the sake of your people’s posterity and ours”

Ambassador Makurita Baaro is the first resident Kiribati Ambassador accredited to the United States of America.

The very first Kiribati Roving Ambassador to the United States was His Excellency Atanraoi Baiteke who was also the first Secretary for Foreign Affairs for Kiribati after the country gained independence in 1979.

Kiribati and the United States enjoy a close relationship since establishing diplomatic relations in 1980. The two countries work closely together on a broad range of issues, from strengthening regional security, to promoting sustainable development and addressing climate change, to protecting fisheries and the environment.

Island Report image Nikunau

Kiribati buys a piece of Fiji


Piece of the land in Fiji

OB – Press Release

Kiribati’s Head of State – President Anote Tong made the announcement last week confirming that government has made the final payment for the purchase of the AUD$9.3 million Natoavatu Estate located in Fiji’s second biggest island of Vanua Levu.

“I wish to officially announce that government has come to a final resolve and has made the full purchase of the piece of land in Fiji.” President Tong said in his address to the nation on national radio last Friday.

Tong added that government sent a team earlier this month, comprising of the Minister of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development and the Attorney General, to settle the purchase of the land with the Fiji authorities.

The team were assured the Certificate of Title for the Natoavatu Estate after all requirements were met and a transaction of the final payment of AUD$8.3 million was witnessed before the previous land owners – The Trustees for the Colony of Fiji of the Church of England and the Fiji authorities.

Tong said that the acquisition of the 5460-acre piece of land marks a new milestone in government’s development plans particularly in its endeavor to address its economic and food security issues as it is greatly impacted by climate change.

“I’m glad we’ve taken this milestone with Fiji and hope that developed countries can engage with frontline countries like us in this arena, as a matter of taking simple actions rather than negotiating climate change issues where common ground is far from reach.” President Tong added.

Earlier this year, President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau met with his Kiribati counterpart on Kiribati shores where he assured “that the people of Kiribati will have a home if their country is submerged by the rising sea level as a result of climate change.

The Fiji President made the announcement confirming the suggestion made earlier by Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, that Fiji would assist Kiribati in any way it could.

The land purchase of the Natoavatu Estate is an investment by the government to explore options of commercial, industrial and agricultural undertakings such as fish canning, beef/poultry farming, fruit/vegetable farming to name but a few.

Forum Trade Ministers Meeting comes to an End

The Pacific Islands Forum embraces a vision for a better future and prosperity for Pacific Islands’ communities through increased trade and investment. As the international trade and investment promotion agency of the Forum Secretariat, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest’s network of offices play an essential role in supporting this vision.

This story began on Wednesday 28 May 2014 when 16 members of this Forum gathered at the Kiribati House of Parliament in Ambo, Tarawa, and the Republic of Kiribati to reach a special agreement. It is special because it recognizes the relative state of development in the Pacific in terms of Technology, Capacity, Wealth, and Resources. I’d say it’s special indeed! And thank you to the Secretary General, Mr Tuiloma Neroni Slade, all the Ministers who were present, the people who assisted these Ministers. Thank you all on behalf of us, the grass roots people, for recognizing Kiribati and accepting our Minister of Commerce’s invitation Mr Binto Katia from Makin to have and to hold the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting here at yet another beautiful island in the pacific.

If you would like to learn more about the Trade Ministers Meeting please visit the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat website and I bet they have a Facebook page as well to keep you engaged.

Also visit our Facebook page Kiribati and Climate Change and like it, and also share it with others so they can see the pictures!

Sea wall in the village of Eita on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Small islands’ commitment towards climate change

Sea wall in the village of Eita on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Sea wall in the village of Eita on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today (2 April 2014) praised the commitment by small islands in the Pacific to low-carbon development and urged them to continue their ambitious efforts to combat climate change and spur other nations to come to a binding agreement on this issue next year, UN News Centre, Reports.

“Because you are on the front lines, you know that we are at a pivotal moment and that more needs to be done. You know that the world’s appetite for energy continues to grow, and the global thermostat continues to rise,” Mr. Ban said in his message to the Pacific launch of the UN Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, which took place in Fiji.

While Mr. Ban noted that small island nations face special challenges, such as rising sea levels, restricted markets and high energy prices due to their remote location, he also highlighted successful initiatives that are helping these countries achieve sustainable development.

“The Pacific Islands are demonstrating real global leadership in our shared efforts to make a much-needed transition to a new era in energy use and production,” he said. “Tokelau has become the first territory in the world to generate 100 per cent of its power from renewable energy, while our host, the government of Fiji, is demonstrating its commitment to support sustainable energy for all through concrete actions. These and other efforts are helping to point the way to a sustainable future.”

The period from 2014 to 2024 has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the Decade for Sustainable Energy for All and two years ago, Mr. Ban launched his Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which seeks to achieve three inter-linked goals by 2030: universal access to modern energy, doubling energy efficiency, and doubling the share of renewable energy, thus providing services such as lighting, clean cooking and mechanical power in developing countries, as well as improved energy efficiency, especially in the world’s highest-energy consuming countries.

Read the full story on UN News Centre
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Kiribati people depend on potable well water, this supply has been affected by climate change

Kiribati to Celebrate World Water Day

Kiribati people depend on potable well water, this supply has been affected by climate change

Kiribati people depend on potable well water, this supply has been affected by climate change

Kiribati will be celebrating World Water Day on 24 March 2014 at the Bairiki Square in Kiribati’s capital, Tarawa, focusing on this year’s Kiribati theme ‘Water and Climate Change’.

People in Kiribati depend on potable ground water in wells and from rainwater, but this supply of water has been directly affected by climate change.

The ground water supply in South Tarawa is dependent on the size of the land area and as this diminishes as a result of rising sea levels and coastal erosion, so does the size of the water lens. This situation applies to all of the other islands of Kiribati.

Public Utilities Board (PUB), CEO, Kevin Rouatu said, Kiribati is like a floating ship with limited fresh water from its water lens, and despite the heavy rainfall that Kiribati has been blessed with in the past months, our water lens can only hold just a small percentage of the total rainfall.

“South Tarawa depends largely on the reservoirs in Buota and Bonriki so it is very vital for people to save the water they get from the main water system and not waste it”. Said Kevin Rouatu.

“KAPIII’s objective is to increase the resilience of Kiribati to the impacts of climate change on freshwater supply and coastal protection as a priority by the government of Kiribati”. Said Kautuna Kaitara, Program Manager for KAPIII.

“Our aim is to improve the water reticulation system on South Tarawa through leakage detection and repairs, to increase rainwater harvesting and to build abstraction galleries”, he said.

With regards to sustaining the Buota and Bonriki water reserves, Mr Kaitara said, KAPIII will be assisting in supporting the Government of Kiribati Water Committee by ensuring governance and sustainability of the systems in Bonriki and Buota villages.

“If water in this area is contaminated there will be no drinkable water to the 40 thousand plus population on South Tarawa and it will be catastrophic and costly for the people of South Tarawa compared to the  cost from a tsunami disaster”. Mr Kaitara said.

The Kiribati government through the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities, the Ministry of Health the Kiribati Adaptation Program – Phase III (KAPIII) Public Utilities Board, SMEC and GCCA have joined efforts to make the most of this year’s World Water Day celebrations.

Also read: Reducing leakage in Tarawa, World Water Day 2013, Why Tarawa needs water reserves
Follow the discussion and view pictures of Monday’s event on our Facebook page 

Mr Riibeta Abeta

I-Kiribati first international publication on climate change

Riibeta Abeta

Riibeta Abeta

Meet Mr Riibeta Abeta
Kiribati has not only for years been at center stage of the 21st century’s hottest topic of climate change, but the new year 2014 has ushered in the newest chapter of climate change for Kiribati, the first I-Kiribati single author on climate change.

In a typical Kiribati way of life, the young and newest author Mr. Riibeta Abeta expects no glints or glamour or even an entourage of the media to greet his first ever academic publication titled ‘Climate Change Adaptation and Coastal Zone of Kiribati’ published by the German based Lambert Publishing Company.

Speaking to TMN when asked what was his biggest motivation behind  his work? Mr. Abeta has this to say.

His motivation
‘I think forging our home island of Kiribati forward through today’s challenges, particularly in the future bleak scenarios brought in by climate change has been my biggest motivation to complete this book’

Although this is his first academic master-piece on climate change, Abeta is no stranger to the different dimensions of climate change that is impacting his beloved Kiribati, because he still lives with it and has argued for it at international foras when he worked as climate change officer with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development in Tarawa as a Kiribati civil servant.

Future hopes
‘Amid the global campaigns about the uncertain future of Kiribati due to climate change, my worries always goes to our children, and therefore it points me to the fact that our young generation of Kiribati today must fully understand the full spectrum of their choices for their future lives; and we all know that this can be realized by more focused research on this hot topic, among other things.’

Mr Abeta’s background
Abeta has been on the Kiribati negotiation teams to the many UN Climate Change meetings since he joined the Ministry of Environment more than a decade ago, it is during his service with the Government of Kiribati that he got the Australian Leadership Award Scholarship to do his masters on climate change at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane.

‘This book in summary is about our capital island, South Tarawa, Kiribati; and a detail explanation on where it safe boundaries are with respect to the climate change threats.  The book also argued that the range of barriers and limits to climate change adaptation need to be considered into today’s developmental planning.  The time and resources spent to do the research was made possible through the Australian Leadership Award Scholarship and the University of the Sunshine Coast in Brisbane Australia when I did the Masters of Climate Change academic program in 2009 -2010.’

Cover page of Riibeta Abeta's book

Cover page of Riibeta Abeta’s book

The new author has found new strength and new heights in his first publication and has shared his thoughts and experience on how to get your work published in his facebook page and emails to his friends and colleagues in Kiribati.

Lambert Publishing Company
‘The Lambert Publishing Company (https://www.lap-publishing.com/site/home/10) based in Germany came across my work and expressed their interest to publish it globally (https://www.morebooks.de/), which has now brought this work about Kiribati to this level,’ he said.

‘This has not only demonstrated the potential of us I-Kiribati as trusted authors of books, but more importantly showcasing Kiribati’s stories, information, facts, problems and critical issues requiring support, at the international front.’

Defining our paths
According to Abeta, I-Kiribati are better suited to define their paths in terms of climate change.

Beyond climate change, the new author and father of two children has somewhat a more human touch and nationalistic feeling towards his new publication.

Hopes for a smarter and resilient Kiribati society
‘I felt, this publication of mine is entirely dedicated to the young and growing generations of Kiribati to be very informed by engaging in more innovative researches, adaptive to emerging threats, willingness to collaborate with each other to achieve a common goal for Kiribati, and remain true I-Kiribati. This publication hopes for a ‘smarter and resilient Kiribati society in the future.’

‘The “young generations” of Kiribati can achieve more than this, and I would like to encourage them to do their best for themselves, and for their future beloved home Kiribati. It is also with an earnest hope that this small achievement, signals an important message to all I-Kiribati citizens to help shape a ‘Smarter and Resilient Kiribati.’

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Kirarenti Muller and wife Totibure on their sea wall protecting their home back right of pic in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Fiji will not turn its back on Kiribati

Kirarenti Muller and wife Totibure on their sea wall protecting their home back right of pic in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Kirarenti Muller and wife Totibure on their sea wall protecting their home back right of pic in the village of Temwaiku on the island of Tarawa. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Kiribati’s President Anote Tong  has welcomed assurance from Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama that Fiji will not turn its back on Kiribati in its hour of need, Island Business, reports.

President Tong welcomed the remarks made by Prime Minister Bainimarama during the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Conservation and Protected Areas held in Suva last week where he said that “if the sea level continues to rise because the world won’t tackle global warming, some or all of the people of Kiribati may have to come to live in Fiji.”

The Kiribati leader said this is the kind of moral response we need especially from a neighbouring country within the Pacific.

“We realize that comments made by the Fijian Prime Minister are not easy… but for us the situation we find ourselves in is even more difficult,” President Tong said at the margins of the Parliament session now underway in the capital, Tarawa.

“I have often said that this is the moral challenge because it calls on answers which are unprecedented – never written and never heard of, so this calls for out-of-the-box solutions.” Tong added.

Read the full story on Islands Business

Also read, government land purchase within grasp
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COSPPac team with Kiribati Met Service staff who participated in a 2 days workshop at Kiribati Met Service office in Betio

Climate change workshop – a success

The Office of Te Beretitenti (OB) through the Kiribati Meteorological Service (KMS) in partnership with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) through Climate and Ocean Support Program for Pacific (COSPPac) held a Kiribati Climate and Communication Workshop from November 18-22.

COSPPac team with Kiribati Met Service staff who participated in a 2 days workshop at Kiribati Met Service office in Betio

COSPPac team with Kiribati Met Service staff who participated in a 2 days workshop at Kiribati Met Service office in Betio

Together with the KMS climate section, the team delivered climate services stakeholder workshops and staff skills trainings. These sessions aimed to:

  • Raise awareness about and improve understanding of KMS climate services products among media and key government stakeholders;
  • Solicit feedback from stakeholders about their needs and how to improve the products; and
  • Enhance KMS staff members’ climate knowledge and applied technical skills.

The objective of the stakeholder workshops was to train representatives from the media and from key government sectors in the interpretation of the climate outlooks, as well as eliciting suggestions from them participants on ways to improve these products or to generate new products that better suit their needs.

“The Kiribati Climate outlook is a monthly bulletin issued from the KMS climate section which consist of information on the season climate condition and rainfall outlook for the next three months in Kiribati. The ultimate aim for this bulletin is to let the people of Kiribati (through media) and government sectors know such information for their planning and decision making,” Mr. Ueneta Toorua, Climate Officer said. 

“Since the information is very technical it also very difficult for KMS to know if everyone understands and uses this product,” he said.

The KMS climate service products (including information and forecasts on high tides, seasonal rainfall, and ENSO phases) have the potential to help government sectors better prepare for tidal inundation and drought. If these products are not properly understood or if they are misinterpreted, however, they are usually ignored or can even have a negative effect.

Evaluations rated the workshops very highly, noting that they have helped to raise awareness about ENSO’s effects on Kiribati, about the climate products coming out of the KMS, as well as the interpretation and uses of these products.

As a result of the one week workshop, government sector and media stakeholders benefitted from more targeted, understandable, and relevant climate products and services as a result of the feedback. In turn, the people of Kiribati will benefit from improved awareness and thus improved preparedness for seasonal climate variability.

View the current Climate Outlook for Kiribati on our Seasonal Climate Information.
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Also read about Kiribati’s future climate

HM Tiarite_G_Kwong

Kiribati’s speech during UNFCCC COP19

Republic of KiribatiHM Tiarite_G_Kwong
Statement by: Honorable Minister Mr. Tiarite George Kwong
Minister of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development
of the Republic of Kiribati

High Level Segment
UNFCCC COP 19th Metting

Warsaw, Poland
19 – 21 November 2013

Mr. President,
UNFCCC Executive Secretary,
Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen

I bring to you all very warm greetings from the people of Kiribati, young and old, the Government and my President, His Excellency Anote Tong on whose behalf I am privileged to address this august body. In Kiribati we start all addresses by conferring blessings of peace and security on all those present so I would like to begin by saying to you all: KAM NA BANE NI MAURI.

Mr President,
I wish to take this opportunity to express my delegation.s and my own, deep appreciation to our gracious hosts, the Government and people of Poland for the warm hospitality we all have been accorded since our arrival in your beautiful country and for the meticulous arrangements to ensure the successful conduct of our meeting here in Warsaw.

Mr President,
I also wish to echo the sentiments conveyed by previous speakers in congratulating you Mr President on assuming the Presidency of this 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. I am confident that under your able stewardship, our work towards improving the security and quality of life for all members of our global community, in particular those who are the most vulnerable to climate change will move to new levels of international political commitment and support in an inclusive and transparent manner Kiribati fully supports you in this important task.

Mr. President,
I also want to commend the untiring commitment and work of our Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon on the issue of climate change and the plight of the most vulnerable. those living on the front line of the climate challenge which includes my own country. The people of my country and of our region reiterate our deep gratitude for the Secretary General.s personal commitment in this regard. Under the UN SG leadership, Kiribati also expects the upcoming World Leaders Summit and the Global Conference on SIDS to inform the work of the ADP process with a guarantee of a new, ambitious and legally binding climate change protocol by 2015 that is centered on saving the most vulnerable countries like Kiribati and our global planet.

Mr President,
The challenges facing us as we gather again for this 19th session of COP here in Warsaw are even greater and urgent than when we met a year ago. Security challenges posed by climate change continue to undermine our efforts, the global family of nations to achieve sustainable development.our efforts as a global community to work towards peace and security. For some of us, it is a plea for basic survival. As such, I also wished to support and align my statement with those made by Fiji on behalf of the G77 and China, Nepal on behalf of Least Developed Countries and Nauru on behalf of Alliance of Small Island Developing States.

Mr President,
The tragic event facing the people of the Philippines following super typhoon Haiyan. clearly demonstrate the magnitude of the calamity facing us as we meet in Warsaw. We join previous speakers in conveying to the people and Government of the Philippines, and to those who lost loved ones, that we in Kiribati join you in prayer during these extremely sad and difficult times.

Mr. President,
What is happening in the Philippines is the reality of climate change. This reminds us of the important work we urgently need and must do now. We gather here in Warsaw, small island developing states, developing and developed states, small, medium sized and big countries because we have a common purpose. and a shared responsibility for our planet. to work together to address and find global concrete solution for the greatest challenge facing us with climate change.

Mr President,
Kiribati has and will again highlight that this is a critical issue for the survival of our people and indeed for all of humanity. Scientists tell us that calamity awaits and not just for those of us on low-lying islands. What we are experiencing now on these low-lying atolls is an early warning of what will happen further down the line for everyone. No one will be spared. We cannot continue to abuse our planet in this way. For the future we want for our children and grandchildren, we need leadership. We need collective action. We need commitment. We need Goodwill NOW at COP19.

Mr President,
My delegation was very much touched by the opening session program showcasing the situation and the dream of our children living in the other Poland, a village in Kiribati. This means a lot to us, it demonstrates a message of hope that under your presidency and chairmanship – the focus of COP 19 is to have a better and safer future for our children that is inclusive and transparent. not only in Kiribati and Poland and around the world.

Mr President,
While we welcome the progress achieved so far under the UNFCCC process it still is NOT ENOUGH to ensure the survival of our people and our planet. The recent release of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5) reaffirms what we already know and what we are already experiencing on the ground. It reconfirms the need to ask even harder questions for us in Kiribati – what lies beyond adaptation? What can be done if we can no longer adapt to climate change?

How can we continue to adapt, when our survival is at stake??

Mr President,
Kiribati calls for equal importance to be given to both mitigation and adaptation measures through balanced resource allocation. The delivery of international adaptation finance and resources are taking much too long. The Green Climate Fund needs to be operationalized and resourced as SOON as possible so it can start its operations by the end of 2014. Kiribati calls for improved access in particular for SIDS and LDCs, especially through direct access. We also call on our partners from developed countries to announce and pledge scaled-up climate finance for the years to come as part of the outcomes here in Warsaw, including also the need to increase the level of mitigation commitments and ambitions.

Mr. President,
Kiribati is very concerned with the current lack of ambition to reduce greenhouse gases. The inadequate support for adaptation for SIDS means increased vulnerabilities, high exposure to external shocks and increasing adverse effects of climate change. The establishment of an international mechanism on Loss and Damage is crucial and must be in place now here in this meeting as we have decided in Doha. For countries like Kiribati, loss and damage can no longer be avoided through mitigation nor can be avoided through adaptation. In this regard, loss and damage must be treated with the urgency it demands.

Mr. President,
Time is running out for us. Climate change poses the most urgent security challenge for Kiribati. now. We are in the front line of all this. It is already causing severe coastal erosions, involuntary displacement of villages, decrease in food and water security, and more importantly, has become a survival issue. These impacts are putting enormous pressure on domestic institutions, the national budget, the families and the sense of well-being of the people. These will continue to be exacerbated in the foreseeable future.

Mr. President,
We cannot continue to stand on the side-lines and wait for others to deliver. In Kiribati, we are taking charge of our situation and moving forward with our mitigation and adaptation strategies. We are now working directly with our partners on this like Australia, EU and Taiwan to implement our national adaptation priorities.

Mr President,
While we are taking adaptation measures to ensure that Kiribati remains habitable for as long as possible, prudence demands that we prepare for a long term future for our people. Kiribati has taken the position that it would be irresponsible to acknowledge what we are experiencing on the groundand not do anything to prepare our people and communities for eventual migration, in circumstances that permit them to migrate with dignity. We must prepare our people for this eventuality. That said relocation will always be viewed as an option of last resort. So what are we doing Mr President? Let me share a few of the things that we are doing in Kiribati. We are buying land offshore to enhance food security for our people. We are also working on improving the education and the skills of our people to a level where they are able to compete for jobs in the international labour market. We have facilitated overseas employment and permanent emigration opportunities for our people. These are in line with Governments policy on relocation and migration with dignity. We want our people to have the option to MIGRATE WITH DIGNITY, so they can contribute meaningfully to their new homes rather than climate refugees. We are exploring long term survivability and self-reliance options that ensures sustainability of culture, heritage and identity of the Kiribati people. We are looking at the various options available to a disappearing state, the legalities and the precedents.

Mr President,
We can only do so much, WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE. Much more needs to be done. Because of climate change, our future as a nation and as people is uncertain. Like many others here in this room. We present a whole new security challenge. We also bring a whole new meaning to human rights and the right to a secure future? Climate change has raised a new dimension of human rights, the right to clean drinking water, the right to education, the right to survival. It has also brought a new dimension to the definition of the word refugee.

Mr President,
As we meet this time in Warsaw for COP 19, we challenge all delegations to focus on the urgent need to address the urgent security implications of climate change, including violation of territorial integrity, existential threat, more frequent and severe climate-related disasters, threats to water and food security, slow onset events, increased natural resource scarcity, and forced displacement of communities. But above all Mr President, let us focus on the human dimensions of climate change, including, where necessary, initiatives for preparing communities and whole peoples for relocation.

Mr President,
We have every confidence that under your able presidency and the Polish Government’s leadership,  you will craft and steer this UNFCCC process to these new innovative levels that can help set a new PEOPLE oriented course for this crucial multilateral process. When all of us return to our respective homes from Warsaw, to our respective children, and grandchildren we must be able to look them in the eye and tell them with all honesty that we have done all that is within our collective powers to combat the devastating consequences of climate change. I would like to conclude by wishing you all the Kiribati traditional blessings of: TE MAURI, TE RAOI AO TE TABOMOA . meaning, May Health, Peace and Prosperity be with you Mr President as well as on all of us.

I thank you Mr. President.

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A former fresh water pond that now is flooded with sea water that is killing coconut trees and milk fish stocks, both vital parts of the local diet. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Global emissions hit record high


A former fresh water pond that now is flooded with sea water that is killing coconut trees and milk fish stocks, both vital parts of the local diet. Photo: Justin McManus/The Age

A former fresh water pond that now is flooded with sea water that is killing coconut trees and milk fish stocks, both vital parts of the local diet. Photo: Justin McManus/The Age

World carbon dioxide pollution levels in the atmosphere are accelerating and reached a record high in 2012, the U.N. weather agency said Wednesday, The Christian Science Monitor, reports.

The heat-trapping gas, pumped into the air by cars and smokestacks, was measured at 393.1 parts per million last year, up 2.2 ppm from the previous year, said the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization in its annual greenhouse gas inventory.

That is far beyond the 350 ppm that some scientists and environmental groups promote as the absolute upper limit for a safe level.

As the chief gas blamed for global warming, carbon dioxide’s 2012 increase outpaced the past decade’s average annual increase of 2.02 ppm.

Based on that rate, the organization says the world’s carbon dioxide pollution level is expected to cross the 400 ppm threshold by 2016. That level already was reached at some individual measurement stations in 2012 and 2013.

Read the full story on The Christian Science Monitor
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Also read about Kiribati’s future climate