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US help against climate change must continue under Trump

TWO local organisations received assistance to fight climate change from United States Government on the day most Solomon Islanders are still digesting the news of Donald Trump becoming the new President of the most powerful nation in the world.

It is ironic that under the outgoing Democratic President Barak Obama, climate change and overall environmental issues were prioritise by the US Government.

The incoming Republican President is sceptic of climate change and does not believe its effects such as sea rise and extreme weather patterns are direct result of change in the climate. Far from it.

He even threatened to pull USA out of the Paris Agreement – the United Nations climate pact made in Paris last year. In one of his campaign speeches in May 2016, Trump promised to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of US tax dollars to United Nations global warming programmes.

However thanks to the US Government through its on-going funding of five years under USAID’s Pacific-America Climate Change Fund (PACAM) being implemented in 12 countries, the Solomon Islands Association of Community Learning Centres (SIACLC) and Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership (SICCP) have been assisted financially.

The US Government through USAID is supporting activities that would build the resiliency of local communities against the impacts of climate change.

We need such commitment from developed countries like USA to combat the adverse effects of climate change; but if Trump sees it otherwise, we will be suffering.

This is our fear and the least we expect is for our effort at both national and local levels to protect our environment and strengthen resilience against climate change being under-funded or not supported at all.

For now we wish the SIACLC and SICCP all the best in their quest for training communities on the impacts of climate change, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture development.

We just hope the incoming Trump administration recognises these ongoing commitment under USAID to support vulnerable island states which are not immune from effects of climate change.

And such support to civil organisations and those engaging in protecting our environment should continue; now that delegates at the annual climate change talks in Morocco are hopeful Donald Trump’s presidency will not derail progress made on action against climate change.

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