28 Feb 2011

Climate change damaging for Kiribati youth

7:23 am on 28 February 2011

A UNICEF report says climate change is "eating away' the future for young people in Kiribati, putting their physical and mental development at risk.

The UN agency's report was officially launched in Suva over the weekend.

Moera Tuilaepa Taylor reports.

"The report, issued annually, aims to raise awareness of the situation of children throughout the world. This year's report focuses attention on adolescents and highlights statistics and information about the challenges and opportunities facing adolescents globally in the areas of health, education, protection and participation. The report says Kiribati, with a total land area of 811 square kilometres, is among the most vulnerable countries in terms of the global warming and sea level rises. The Kiribati President, Anote Tong, says climate change is real and he urges families, communities and governments to work together to tackle the issue. He says in 30 to 40 years, their nation, their home may no longer be habitable - it may not even exist. He says swift actions is needed to to minimize the adverse impact that climate change is having and will continue to have on Kiribati."