Pacific Island journalists keen to address climate change and food security
Thursday, 20 August 2009 00:00

 

Pacific Island journalists have recognised the need to closely work with regional organisations in addressing key issues like climate change and food security.

A workshop supported by GTZ (German Agency for Technical Cooperation) through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)/GTZ Adaptation to Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region programme, has emphasised that the socio-economic development of people in the Pacific region is vulnerable to climate change.

‘This is an issue that cuts across all sectors, including rural development, agriculture, forestry and fisheries’, said Dr Hermann Fickinger from GTZ.

The participants also noted that expected results of climate change include more frequent and intense flooding in tropical areas and droughts in subtropical areas, together with cyclones that are expected to become more severe.

The two-day workshop provided a platform of discussions between journalists from the region and experts from SPC, GTZ, Fisheries Forum Agency and South Pacific Regional Environment Programme.
In his presentation at the workshop, Dr Fickinger said there was a need for partnership between communicators and experts so that people can receive information relevant to their everyday lives. He called on the media to consistently report and highlight issues affecting the lives of people in the region, especially those relating to climate change and threats to food security.

Participants learned about some of the national and regional policies that are currently being implemented in the region and that the media can help promote. These include the diversification of food production to adapt to climate change, the need to boost local production of crops and fish through investment in science, making agriculture attractive to youth and the strengthening of infrastructure for food distribution.

Other activities to maintain food security in the face of climate change highlighted at the workshop included reducing the burden of higher prices, developing peri-urban and urban agriculture, raising awareness of nutritional value of local foods, implementing effective biosecurity measures, undertaking vulnerability analyses for all food production sectors and raising awareness of threats to food security and available solutions at the community level.