The United Nations Development Programme says that despite some impressive rankings in a new report, the Pacific faces a future of rising sea-levels, water shortages and diminishing fish stocks.
Nine Pacific nations are ranked among the 187 countries in the UNDP's 2011 Human Development Report.
Don Wiseman reports
"Two, Palau and Tonga, are ranked 49 and 90 respectively, making them part of a group of high human development countries. Other Pacific rankings include Samoa at 99, Fiji on 100, Kiribati 122 and Vanuatu at 125. Two countries in the region, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, which are ranked 142 and 153 respectively, form part of the low human development category. The report, which is subtitled Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All, stresses that disparaties in health, education, income, and gender must be addressed. Another factor is the need for global action on energy production and protection of eco-systems. The Index notes Pacific Island countries generally have higher than average life expectancy and allocate significantly higher amounts to health care. But in PNG and Solomon Islands it deplores the natural resource depletion, principally the forests in both countries."