Usamate talks climate change, adverse effects

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate during the opening of the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network at Tanoa Plaza in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

MINISTER for Employment Jone Usamate says the effects of climate change combined with El Nino events and other natural occurrences such as hurricanes will produce adverse effects.

While officiating at the Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network Conference in Suva yesterday, Mr Usamate said these effects would include climate sensitive diseases that were related to child mortality such as malaria, diarrhoea, measles, respiratory illness and malnutrition. “We already are grappling with sea level rise and its effects on fertile agricultural land,” he said.

Mr Usamate said the additional threat of climate change would undermine development gains and thwart efforts at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“In small island states and developing countries, where tourism is a major economic activity, any significant reduction in tourist arrivals will have serious employment impacts and generate further poverty.”

He said in Fiji, villages needed to move because of climate change.