By TALITHA RAIF
THE director of PNG Forest Research Institute, Prof Simon Saulei, last Friday urged first-year forestry students to assist in minimising the impact of climate change and help communities adapt to the increasing impact of rising sea levels on small islands and low-lying areas when they graduate.
Prof Saulei said the rate of climate change and its impacts were projected to increase significantly over the next few decades, therefore, urgent and immediate actions were required to mitigate such changes and the students should help communities adapt to changes.
He said forest conservation, restoration and reforestation could help to make climate change less severe by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases which were causing climate change by increasing carbon dioxide uptake into the atmosphere.
Prof Saulei highlighted the role REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) played not only in Pacific nations but also around the world.
He said the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defined climate change as a change in climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity which alters the composition of the global atmosphere.
Some of the signs of global warming are rising sea levels due to thermal expansion and melting of glaciers and ice caps.
This has resulted in the increased global temperatures leading to more extreme weather events such as hurricanes, severe drought (El Nino) decreasing snow cover and melting glaciers, warming at the North Pole and the acidification of oceans.
Prof Saulei said there were strategies foresters could follow to address climate change and its impacts and that was by mitigation and adaptation.