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Climate change brings serious risk to Pacific

Published: 8:37PM Tuesday September 02, 2014 Source: ONE News

A conference of 3000 United Nations delegates are in Samoa to look at ways the Pacific region can survive the effects of climate change.

The region currently faces a crisis of food and water shortages.

Kiribati President Anote Tong says the ability to grow at this point is limited.

"The soil is alkaline, the ability to grow is very limited. Not only that but as climate change affects the water our ability to grow our own food is going to decline even further."

There's severe overcrowding and poverty on the main island of Tarawa which has forced the Government to invest nearly $9 million in buying thousands of hectares in Fiji.

"The potential to grow food crops are far better there than any of the islands in Kiribati."

Fresh water and food shortages are already a serious problem in the pacific, particularly in small island countries.

New Zealand has helped provide emergency water supplies in Tuvalu and Tokelau.

International Fund for Agricultural Development Perin Saint Ange says "this is a terrible thing to be happening in this modern world".

"We need to take it seriously plan mitigate adapt so that we can ensure reliable supply of good quality products," says Mr Perin.

A United Nations report just released shows increasing desperation, with one in four Pacific Islanders living below their national poverty line.

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