Climate Change, Palau, Sea Levels, Global Warming

Climate Change, Palau

Tides of change: Palau calls on ‘big brothers and sisters’ in the global effort against climate change

Tides of change: Palau calls on ‘big brothers and sisters’ in the global effort against climate change

14.9.2019

Tides of change: Palau calls on ‘big brothers and sisters’ in the global effort against climate change

As Singapore looks to develop initiatives to deal with rising sea levels brought on by climate change , CNA visited the tiny Pacific island nation ...

Facing the force of the category five super typhoon, others were not so lucky.

But with the increasing ferocity of these typhoons coupled with rising sea levels and increasing ocean temperatures, it is clear the island nation now stands on the frontline of climate change, said President Tommy Remengesau.

“To solve the problem, it cannot be an individual effort, it's got to be a collective worldwide effort, international effort and it's got to be solved by the people who contribute the most to the problem,” he explained.

Palau's ambassador to the United Nations Ngedikes Uludong believes there is a need for Palau to encourage other nations to take climate change seriously. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

A kayaker paddles upstream in the waters off Koror. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

“Even the Paris Agreement like you know, scientists have said that it doesn't go far enough but at least it's a start.”

“We're definitely promoting renewable energy - even though we contribute the least to the causes of climate change,” said Mr Remengesau.

This has seen shifts in the weather and seasons, said Palau’s minister of natural resources, environment and tourism Mr F. Umiich Sengebau.

For those involved in agriculture, there is now less of a delineation between planting and harvesting seasons.

“The typhoon impact is devastating because it kills the corals and destroys the structures. It flattens everything and it takes everything,” explained chief executive officer of the Palau International Coral Reef Centre Dr Yimnang Golbuu.

“We used to be proud that we were outside of the typhoon belt - sometimes we were accused of ‘manufacturing’ storms and sending them off to other places because we were really not affected,” added Mr Remengesau.

Said Mr Remengesau: “We're preparing ourselves for those kinds of scenarios, but again, one storm can wipe out everything so we're always keeping our fingers crossed.”

Take Mdm Yano, who moved to higher ground in the village of Ngiwal three months after the 2012 storm.

Mdm Isabella Yano has seen her taro patches inundated by sea water. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

“I have another taro patch close to the sea so when the tide is high, it all comes inside,” she added. “That one is a very open place, so it’s a bigger problem. There’s a beach and the water is coming in ... I’m just going (to have to) leave it.”

“In every opportunity in an international arena, we want to tell the world this is impacting (us), this is close to home,” said Mr Sengebau.

Read more: CNA

TIDES OF CHANGE: Palau calls on ‘big brothers and sisters’ to help halt climate changeAs Singapore looks to develop initiatives to deal with rising sea levels brought on by climate change , CNA visited the tiny Pacific island nation ...

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TIDES OF CHANGE: Palau calls on ‘big brothers and sisters’ to help halt climate changeAs Singapore looks to develop initiatives to deal with rising sea levels brought on by climate change , CNA visited the tiny Pacific island nation ...

TIDES OF CHANGE: As fish and coral disappear Palau faces the economic realities of climate changeAs Singapore looks to develop initiatives to deal with rising sea levels brought on by climate change , CNA visited the tiny Pacific island nation ...

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