Thursday, October 16, 2008

Impact of climate change on food source in Pacific unknown

Xinhua: The exact magnitude and nature of climate change impacts on food sources in Pacific island countries were relatively unknown, according to a report on climate change and food security in the Pacific. The report, jointly prepared by the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Program (SPREP) and the University of the South Pacific(USP) said the Pacific Island Countries must begin to implement adaptation measures like expanding seed banks and increasing investments in primary food sources, the Pacnews reported on Thursday.

The report agreed that climate variations have disrupted food production, water supply and the economies of Pacific nations. A group of climate change experts in the Pacific were meeting in Apia, the capital of Samoa, for the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable.

"The primary food sources (agriculture, fisheries and forests and water) will be impacted by climate change and in most cases, these impacts will be negative," the Pacnews quoted the report as saying. "There is a worrying trend throughout the Pacific today that demand for food is increasingly being serviced by imports. Basic staples such as rice and wheat for flour are key substitutes of traditional diets that are now part and parcel of a Pacific Islander's daily diet," the report said.

Rice fields on the island Java of Indonesia. Photo by Jan-Pieter Nap, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 1.0 License

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