S. Pacific islands fear being drowned

Taiwan's South Pacific allies, fearing being drowned by rising seawater, are seeking help from Taiwan, a newspaper said on Friday.

S. Pacific islands fear being drowned
Taiwan's South Pacific allies, fearing being drowned by rising seawater, are seeking help from Taiwan, a newspaper said on Friday.

The China Times said that environmental ministers from Taiwan's five South Pacific allies raised the issue at the Taiwan-South Pacific allies' environmental ministers' conference, which opened in Taipei Thursday.

The islands face many environmental problems threatening their development and survival, but their biggest one is rising sea levels caused by global climate warming.

Bryan Star, industrial resources minister of Nauru, complained that Nauru's territory is shrinking because rising seawater is eating away the coastline. Nauru's population of about 10,000 people have almost nowhere to retreat.

The encroaching seawater has also intruded into Nauru's ground water, thus threatening islanders' water supply.

Whitten Philippo, minister in assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands, said his country's most urgent problem is the loss of land. The highest area of the Marshalls is only two metres above the sea level. If the sea level rises higher, much of the island chain will be submerged.

Palau, like the Marshall Islands, depends on tourism as the main source of its income, but global warming is threatening its survival.

The influx of tourists into Palau has led to an imbalance in Palau's ecology because tourists are using too much water and electricity, and islanders are catching too many fish to feed them, Minister of Resources and Development Fritz Koshiba said.

Kiribati's problem is that it has no place to bury his garbage and wastes because it is too small. Kiribati is the smallest among Taiwan's five South Pacific allies.

The Solomon Islands, the largest of Taiwan's five South Pacific allies and the only country among them that has forests, is worried about encroaching seashore. Farmers can longer plant crops near the seashore and must move the farmland inland.

Taiwan's environmental minister Chen Lung-hisn told the meeting that Taiwan and its five South Pacific allies are all victims of global warming.

"But Taiwan has successful experiences to export. For example, Taiwan is good at waste-recycling and its recycling rate is 36 per cent. Taiwan also has experience in reducing carbon dioxide emission. Taiwan can share these experiences with its diplomatic allies," Chen said.

DPA
Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Temmuz 2007, 11:31
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