10 Jul 2009

Conference hears of climate change consequences

9:36 am on 10 July 2009

A conference in Wellington has highlighted the determination of Pacific people not to be forced out of their countries by climate change.

The need to plan for the displacement of people was raised at the conference on Climate Change and Migration in the South Pacific Region held by Victoria University.

But Joseph Konno from the Federated States of Micronesia's Office of Environment and Emergency Management, says people in his country are trying to adapt to climate change by raising buildings, installing bigger water tanks, and constructing roads at higher levels.

He says the consequences of being forced to leave their home country is unthinkable

"As an islander you are tied to that island because the land, the seas, the resources are part of you, so leaving those behind and moving to say New Zealand, is like you've left 90 percent of yourself back there ."

But Joseph Konno says extreme weather events such as flooding, and drought have compromised the supply of food and water.