THE International Day of Climate Action, which falls tomorrow, provides us the opportunity to focus on the impacts of climate change on our islands.

There’s no denial that the impacts of climate change are already here.

On the Polynesian atolls of Malaita Outer Islands for example, gardening land has already been covered by rising sea.

On the island of Walande in the southern region of Malaita, villagers were forced to the mainland after rising seas swallowed up the island.

Elsewhere in the country, the impacts are evident on the shorelines.

Those used to live by the sea are moving upland as big waves and rising seas continue to eat away the shorelines.

This is most evident in north Malaita where certain segments of the north road are not part of the ocean.

So we are not just talking about something foreign when discussing climate change.

It is something that is real and is right before our eyes.

Changes in our climate are brought about by forces beyond our control. The blame currently lies with the developed world, where most of the carbon dioxides are produced.

But that’s not to say we shouldn’t be taking any action to minimise the impacts of climate change.
 As a member of the world community, we have a role to play.

The current concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is already 387ppm (parts per million).

350ppm is the number that scientists say is the safe maximum limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

If the level of carbon dioxide is not quickly reduced, the consequence on the world, including us, could be disastrous.

International negotiations are currently underway to establish an agreement between governments for action on climate change.

In order to achieve the 350ppm target, developed countries must agree to rapidly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 45% in the next ten years.

On this International Day of Climate Action, people around the world in 166 countries will be raising their voice.
We will join them to call for a global agreement to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide below 350ppm and ensure our country’s survival.

Before we see more of our people displaced and our islands swallowed up by rising seas, we must join the global effort to reduce the impacts of climate change.

This is about our survival.