MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

MDG 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

VOICEOVER: Climate change is already
affecting many countries,
particularly in the Pacific.
It’s exacerbating
current environmental
and development challenges
and, if left unaddressed,
holds the potential to stall
and reverse progress
towards the MDGs.
Kiribati, which already suffers
many environmental challenges,
is one of the most vulnerable
countries in the region.
TRANSLATION: I feel that the sun
is getting hotter
and, at the same time, I feel
there is like a…there has been an
increase in the level of sea water.
The President of Kiribati,
Anote Tong,
believes his island could become
uninhabitable in as few as 20 years,
in part due to the effects
of climate change
on the fragile natural environment.
Previously, I thought 2060…
..would be a safe…maybe
getting too close to the edge.
But now it seems
it might be a lot earlier.
Like, 2030 might be more realistic.
But I think the response
has to be much earlier than that.
Extreme weather events like cyclones
contribute to coastal erosion,
putting settlements at risk.
The main source of reliable
fresh water in the capital
comes from an underground lens.
The combined effects of population
pressures and saline intrusion
are putting water supplies at risk.
There’s no above-ground water
in Kiribati.
It’s all in the water lens,
which makes it very fragile.
Australia is helping Kiribati
to address the sustainability
of their water supplies
by working with locals
to better manage water resources,
monitor ground-water quality
and improve sanitation
to reduce ground-water pollution.
While uncertainty remains
over the future of Kiribati,
President Tong is focused
on ensuring his people
are equipped to migrate
if this becomes necessary.
Australia is assisting
by supporting training programs
aimed at providing skills in demand
in other countries,
such as a maritime training college
for sailors
and the Kiribati
Australia Nurses Initiative
being run through Griffith
University in Queensland.

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