Knowledge for Development

UNEP, SPC assess threats to pacific freshwater resources

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Date: 04/06/2012

Introduction:

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Applied Geoscience and Technology Division, have released a report titled “Freshwater Under Threat – Pacific Islands,” which assesses the vulnerability of freshwater resources to environmental change.

The assessment concludes that the greatest vulnerability of Pacific Island Countries (PICs) is the lack of freshwater resources in low-lying islands, exacerbated by limited human, financial and management resources, increasing population densities, and vulnerability to climate variability and change.

The report assesses vulnerability on seven islands in seven PICs, namely: Fongafale Islet, Tuvalu; Majuro Atoll, the Marshall Islands; Nauru; Rarotonga, the Cook Islands; Upolu, Samoa; Viti Levu, Fiji; and New Guinea, Papua New Guinea. The assessment concludes that the freshwater resources of the low-lying islands Majuro Atoll, Nauru and Fongafale, are highly to severely vulnerable. (IISD RS SIDS Policy and Practice; 23/4/2012)

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