Caritas State of the Environment Report

Caritas Australia has joined together with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand in collaboration with Caritas Tonga, Caritas Papua New Guinea and Caritas Samoa to publish this year's State of the Environment Report for Oceania 2017.

The Caritas State of the Environment for Oceania 2017 Report is a voice from Oceania highlighting the impacts of climate change on our common home, and the actions and responses required to protect it for the poor and future generations.

The report bears witness to the stark reality that millions of people in small islands are suffering from the effects of climate change, though they did very little to contribute to it.

It describes how, during the last 12 months:

  • Coastal erosion, flooding and sea level rise is displacing people from their homes, including at least 30 coastal communities in PNG during the last 12 months.
  • Climate change continues to reduce people’s food and water security, with impacts on fresh drinking water, food crops and fish stocks.
  • Extreme weather events during 2017 included three very powerful late season cyclones in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Australia; severe flooding in Fiji, PNG and Aotearoa NZ; and prolonged drought in the Marshall Islands and Australia.
  • Climate finance (funding for climate adaptation and mitigation projects) for Pacific nations remains at concerningly low levels.
State of theEnvironment Report 2017

We call on the Australian Government to follow the unprecedented international commitments of the Paris Agreement with the following concrete actions:

  • Ensure that the people most severely affected by climate change are directly involved in shaping the policy solutions.
  • Commit to a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy and a phase-out of the fossil fuel industry. This points to a much higher investment in the clean energy sector.
  • Contribute a share of global climate finance which better reflects Australia's relative income in the world.
  • Develop a whole of government approach to climate change.

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis, throws down an urgent challenge to all of us. “Together”, he says, “we have the ability to work tirelessly to make a difference: to hear and respond to both the earth and the poor.”

Young father from Kiribati appeals for climate action

The Caritas State of the Environment for Oceania Report, released today, shows that sea level rise, food and water shortages and extreme weather events are wreaking havoc on people’s lives. Caritas urges the Australian government to match the leadership shown by many Pacific Island nations who have adopted some of the strongest renewable energy targets in the world.

“My country is in peril from rising seas so I am here to appeal for urgent climate action, otherwise we will lose our homes. Kiribati is going under water,” said Eri Aram.

Eri, a 28-year old father of three from Kiribati, is in Australia this week to tell the story of his country. He will then attend the UN climate summit in Germany to ensure his people are given a voice in determining future climate policy.… Continue reading


State of the Environment Report for Oceania 2016

In 2016, Caritas Australia had joined together with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Tonga to produce the Caritas State of the Environment Report for Oceania 2016.

The year, 2015-16, has highlighted the Pacific’s vulnerability to extreme weather events that affect food and water supplies. The most significant trend in Oceania the last 12 months has been widespread hunger and thirst that is a result of severe weather events, successive emergencies, and ongoing climatic changes. These have had extensive and serious impacts on the well-being of peoples across the Pacific.

The El Niño weather pattern and Cyclone Winston in Fiji have had significant impact in the region, as well as other extreme weather events such as droughts and intense rainfall. These events have had an impact on malnutrition within these countries, which will have long-term impacts on health and education. Rising sea levels, coastal erosion, flooding and groundwater salination are also long-term threats to Pacific peoples.

Download the Hungry for Justice, Thirsty for Change report.

Watch a video and hear the firsthand voices of those experiencing changes in their lives due to climate change.

We have many communities that are close to the sea, many communities that are at high tide."
Most Rev. Archbishop Chris Cardone OP Archbishop of Honiara

Resources

Hungry for Justice Report

Hungry for Justice Report

Download Report
climate_finance

Climate Finance Fact sheet

Download Climate Finance Fact sheet
Food For All Poster

Food and Water Fact sheet

Download Food For All Campaign Poster
Food For All Poster

Rising Levels Fact sheet

Download Rising Levels Fact sheet
It’s our responsibility as global citizens to take care of our planet and to ensure that we all have a safe, secure and promising future. The earth is our common home, for us and for our children and we are all connected.”
Erietera Aram from Kiribati, Caritas Australia State of the Environment Report Ambassador