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Fiji Time: 10:13 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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Frequent disasters a threat to islands

Ana Madigibuli
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

THE implementation and future action of stakeholders on policy, research, development and innovation concerning science and technology was one of the major issues highlighted yesterday,

The PACE-NET results include capacity development, analytical work on science and technology capacity and priorities in the Pacific and outcomes of two previous bi-regional PACE-NET conference.

PACE-NET is a three-year INCO-NET Co-ordination Action supported by the European Commission with the main goal of strengthening bi-regional sustainable dialogue on science and technology between Europe and the Pacific.

Environment Minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua said PACE-NET examines possible synergies or complementaries with the European activities, especially with respect to challenges faced by developing countries.

He said in the Pacific Islands people, agricultural land, tourist resorts and infrastructure are all concentrated along the coastal zones thus vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially any rise in sea level.

"The impacts of climate change on the smaller Pacific Island countries were estimated in a series of vulnerability studies," he said.

"Rising sea level is not the only issue, natural hazards such as cyclone and floods are occurring at quite a frequent rate in the region, an example is the recent tropical cyclone Evan and major floods that Fiji faced last year. These hazards certainly have a harmful impact on low lying islands."