THE WWF South Pacific applauded the formulation of the iTaukei Glossary of Climate Change Terms that strengthens effective communications of climate change by improving understanding of its technical terms within iTaukei communities.
The glossary, approved by Cabinet on November 20, was developed under the leadership of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs in partnership with GIZ (German Agency for International Co-operation), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Department of Forests and the Ministry of Education.
The 22-page glossary contains 59 commonly used climate science phrases and words like resilience, acidification, carbondioxide and deforestation translated to its iTaukei form for the first time.
Previously words like resilience, now translated as iGu ni cokonaki, had always been a challenge for climate change officers to communicate to iTaukei because there was no standard translation and the various ways it was translated potentially confused people.
Sequestration, deforestation, emissions, carbon sink, clean development mechanisms and carbon dioxide are some technical terms highlighted in the glossary.
WWF South Pacific AusAID Building Resilience Project national co-ordinator Stephanie Robinson said communication of climate change could be an effective means of stimulating mitigation and adaptation actions, provided communities understand and take ownership of the issue.
"To a considerable degree the challenge of tackling climate change is a challenge of communications," Ms Robinson said.
"Climate change can be a complex issue to understand but standardising climate change translation should help improve understanding and importantly ensure there is consistency in the messages that are being given out to the public.
"The use of vernacular or mother tongue remains a key aspect of communicating climate change, because people have enormous faith in what they are told in their local language by people they can identify with."