Caritas State of the Environment for Oceania Report

In 2018, Caritas Australia has once again joined with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, Caritas Papua New Guinea, Caritas Samoa and Caritas Tonga to publish the Caritas State of the Environment Report for Oceania.

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These annual reports bear witness to the stark reality that millions of people in small islands states are suffering the impacts of climate change, though they did very little to contribute to it.

The reports also highlight the actions required from the Australian Government and others to respond to climate change.

State of the Environment Report for Oceania 2018

Evidence continues to flow from communities that climate change is here and now in the Pacific. Climate change is continuing to impact food and water supplies. Cyclones are increasing in their severity, with Fiji and Tonga hit particularly hard in 2018.

Increased coastal erosion and flooding arising from sea level rise are causing ongoing concern and uncertainty. Many people are being forced to relocate, but it is still largely undocumented and uncoordinated.

Climate finance and other support is urgently needed to allow people on the frontlines of climate change to adapt. Rather than impose further foreign debt and burden on Pacific nations, more needs to be done to ensure effective funding through grants rather than loans, including through the Green Climate Fund.

 

State of the Environment Report for Oceania 2017

In 2016-17, we found that:

  • Coastal erosion, flooding and sea level rise is displacing people from their homes, including at least 30 coastal communities in PNG during 2016-17.
  • Climate change continued 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 remained at concerningly low levels.

 

Young father from Kiribati appeals for climate action

Young father from Kiribati

Erietera Aram from Kiribati was Caritas Australia’s report ambassador in 2017.

“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 Erietera.

Erietera, a 28-year old father of three from Kiribati, was in Australia to tell the story of his country. He then attended 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

The report, has highlighted the Pacific’s vulnerability to extreme weather events that affect food and water supplies. The most significant trend in Oceania in 2015-16 was 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 had significant impact in the region, as well as other extreme weather events such as droughts and intense rainfall. These events 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

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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
For Schools :
Hungry for Justice Report

Food and Water Shortage Resource

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Hungry for Justice Report

Rising Sea Levels Resource

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Hungry for Justice Report

Hungry for Justice Report

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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