Minister opens the National Climate Change Awareness Week

Climate Change News

Issue No. 07/2020 – Tuesday, 08 December 2020 (Kitiona Tausi)

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon Seve Paeniu this morning opened the National Climate Change Awareness Week which falls on 07th – 11th December 2020. This is an annual event and this year’s theme is “Enhancing Adaptation for a Resilient Tuvalu.

This morning’s programme began with the normal Tuvalu culture and tradition of a worship service conducted by ordination candidate from the head office of the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, Mr. Satalaka Faiva.

After the worship service, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon Seve Paeniu gave an address opening the awareness week.

He said the theme of the event is in line with the vision of the government “to strengthen localized adaptation methods to build resilience of communities. Adaptations efforts ought to be supported by climate change finance, it is therefore important to inform and raise awareness, acknowledged to further equip stakeholders to access climate change finance from bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.”

The theme “Enhancing adaptation for a resilient Tuvalu” is to enable Tuvalu confront the impacts of climate change.

“This year, the Department of Climate Change will accomplish within these 5 days a programme towards the campaign to educate the public including children, youths, employees, ngos. Private sector, Falekupule including Cabinet Ministers.

“The main purpose of this week and its importance is to realize tat according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “if global warming continues at current rate, it will reach 1.5 degree celsius between the year 2030 and 2052. Here in Tuvalu this means a further rise in sea-level including salt water intrusion, and flooding and damage to the infrastructure will be greatly amplified.

“Other scientific reports claim that by the year 2100, the sea level will rise by 1 meter, this means that in 80 years from now, Tuvalu will no longer exist. This is why the national awareness week is important to educate ourselves to understand the effects of climate change by having the right information, the know-how and the tools, then we can make the right decision and take action to combat climate change.

“In Tuvalu, there are proactive steps being taken by you and the government to empower people build community ‘s adaptive capacity of climate change. Coastal protection, climate proofing of infrastructures in  settlements and the agricultural sector are some of the key adaptation priorities that the government has committed to deliver over the short term period.”

In the successor of the Kakeega “Te Kete”, Hon Paeniu said, “climate change is a priority and according to what is written in the “Te Kete”, government will also develop a National Adaptation Strategy  which include plans as to how could Tuvalu confront the scenario if the sea level rises by 1 meter in 80 years’ time. Plans should start implemented by now.

“The Climate Change Department is also preparing plans for an Update National Climate Change Policy and a National Adaptation Framework which are all required to enable us confront the impacts from climate change.

“The awareness week will cover educational programmes on key topics: the science of climate change, climate change adaptation and climate change finance. In this opportunity I am encouraging all of us, any Tuvaluan, your family, friends, anybody in the community and island communities to come together to broaden our knowledge understanding on climate change. It is to enable us to make a contribution as to how can we help to face the impacts of climate change.

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