SUVA, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- A group of academics and specialists from South West Pacific countries are meeting in Fiji to discuss various issues concerning maritime security and climate change over the next two days.
The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Jone Usamate said on Tuesday that he believed their professional insights on regional oceans governance, climate change and maritime security will enhance and improve their knowledge as operators and protectors of the sea.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2019 South West Pacific Heads of Maritime Forces Meeting in Fijian capital Suva, Usamate said that climate change and its effects pose a formidable challenge to life in the pacific but the regions must work together to minimize its impacts.
Major climate related concerns in the Pacific include access to fresh water, local food supply as a result of damage to coral reef and agriculture, damage to infrastructure through sea level rise and economic loss from frequent natural disasters.
Usamate also stressed the importance of enhancing regional partnership and capacity building, "Climate change will threaten coastlines, fresh water supplies and arable lands in the region, causing more frequent and intense floods, which will affect peace and security for the region," he added, "the regions need to enhance partnerships and information sharing as challenges can be controlled through regional collaboration and the implement of strategic initiatives.