UNITED NATIONS: CLIMATE CHANGE/SABANEWS/12/10/17 SABANews 1
HARARE – The international community is in panic mode as droughts hit AFRICAN communities and fierce hurricanes devastate poor island states of the CARIBBEAN Region.
The populated area around the CARIBBEAN Sea comprises islands and coasts, south east of the Gulf of MEXICO and North AMERICA, east of Central AMERICA, and north of South AMERICA.
The Head of the UNITED NATIONS Information Centre in HARARE, ZIMBABWE, says Secretary General ANTONIO GUTERRES is visiting a number of the affected islands this weekend.
TAFADZWA MWALE says he has called on the international community, in advance of the trip, to be more generous and help rebuild the islands as well as speed up efforts to implement the PARIS Agreement.
The global deal, also named the PARIS Climate Accord or the PARIS Climate Agreement, is within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – dealing with Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation.
Ms MWALE says next FRIDAY, 13 OCTOBER, is the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2017.
She says it comes as CARIBBEAN islands, covering TWO-MILLION-754-THOUSAND square kilometres with a population of about 39-MILLION-170-THOUSAND, are rebuilding from the devastations of hurricanes IRMA and MARIA.
UNFCCC Executive Secretary PATRICIA ESPINOSA, UNDP Administrator ACHIM STEINER, and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, ROBERT GLASSER, have prepared a statement.
They say Climate Change threatens the rich and the poor alike; and from MIAMI and PUERTO RICO to BARBUDA and HAVANA, effects of the 2017 hurricanes across LATIN AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN prove the impacts of Climate Change respect no borders.
The THREE experts say Category FIVE hurricanes have brought normal life to a standstill for millions in recent weeks in the CARIBBEAN and on the AMERICAN mainland, with HARVEY, IRMA and MARIA having been particularly damaging.
Some THREE-MILLION-400-THOUSAND people of PUERTO RICO have been scrambling for basic necessities including food and water.
The island of BARBUDA has been rendered uninhabitable, and dozens of people are missing or dead on the UNESCO world heritage island of DOMINICA, yet the impact is not confined to this region.
The UN officials say record floods across BANGLADESH, INDIA and NEPAL have made life miserable for some 40-MILLION people, with more than ONE-THOUSAND-200 dead, many left homeless, crops destroyed, and a number of workplaces flooded.
They say 20 countries have declared drought emergencies over the last 18 months, with major displacements taking place across the HORN of AFRICA, comprising DJIBOUTI, ERITREA, ETHIOPIA, and SOMALIA, who share a long history of linked cultures.
The impact of disasters can be severe for least developed countries, reducing livelihoods and progress on health and education; while for developed and middle-income countries economic losses from infrastructure alone can be massive.
The UNITED NATIONS officials say for both the poor and rich nations, the events demand the need to act on a changing climate that threatens only more frequent and more severe disasters./Sabanews/cam