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Palau wins 3rd prize for water and climate change film

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A SOPAC produced film looking at the connections between climate change and water has won third place at an international short film competition run during the recent 16th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16) in Cancun, Mexico.

The film, “Modern Day Uab”, was created in partnership with Palau’s Roll’em Productions, and combines animation and interviews to link traditional Palauan folklore to the challenges Micronesia faces to protect its water supplies from increased climate variability. The video was presented to thousands of participants in the “Dialogues for Water and Climate Change” session at COP 16.

Palau’s President, His Excellency, Johnson Toribiong collected the award on behalf of Roll’em Productions, SOPAC’s GEF Pacific IWRM Project, and Palau.

The “Water, Climate and … Action!” film contest called for entries from around the world to: “Share with us your experience and tell us what your story is,” in order to raise awareness of the direct relationship between climate change and water.

Water is the primary medium through which climate change influences the Earth's ecosystems and therefore people’s livelihoods and well-being.

Water-related climate change impacts are already being experienced in the form of more severe and more frequent droughts and floods. Higher average temperatures and changes in precipitation and temperature extremes are projected to affect the availability of water resources through changes in rainfall distribution, soil moisture, glacier and ice/snow melt, and river and groundwater flows; these factors are expected to lead to further deterioration of water quality as well. The poor, who are the most vulnerable, are also likely to be affected the most.

Climate change is also likely to affect human health through water-related impacts of various kinds – vector-borne diseases, reduced access to safe drinking water, malnutrition due to water shortages, problems following flooding, etc. Although much of the discussion at present is about ways to mitigate the pressures causing climate change, water is already being heavily affected by increasing climatic variability. In small island countries water sector capacity needs to be built to cope with current climate variability as an essential step to adapt to future climate change.

The GEF Pacific IWRM Project, which supported the production of the “Modern Day Uab” film, is assisting water managers increase the resilience of their water systems. This involves better management of risk and building capacity from “Community to Congress” to deal with increased variability in overall supply of water to the Small Island States of the Pacific.

The competition was organised by: The United Nations World Water Assessment Programme, UN Water, The Water Channel and the National Water Commission of Mexico.

Other finalists can be viewed here: http://www.thewaterchannel.tv/

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 16:58  


Quarrying for sand gravel in Kiribati’s most populated atoll island South Tarawa will soon be replaced by a safer and a more sustainable alternative – lagoon dredging.

The Kiribati Government, through its European Union-funded Environmentally Safe Aggregates for Tarawa (ESAT) project, implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s SOPAC Division, hopes to phase out beach aggregate mining on South Tarawa. The mining has caused severe coastal erosion problems on the already vulnerable atoll island.

Beach aggregate is a combination of sand, gravel, pebbles and stones primarily used in making concrete, road maintenance, the building industry and most general construction.

Through its Oceans and Islands Programme, SOPAC has undertaken technical work on coastal vulnerability on South Tarawa for many years. During this time, a continuing stress highlighted since the 1980s has been the damaging impact of beach mining on shoreline systems, caused by intense and unsustainable extraction of aggregates.

The ESAT project, which was established to explore alternative sources of beach aggregates, has identified Tarawa’s lagoon.