PAPUA New Guinea is heading for disaster and needs to act quickly and critically in addressing threats to food security and other pressing issues as a result of climate change, World Wide Fund Environmental specialist, Dr David Wellik said.
He said yesterday PNG was heading for doom unless stringent mitigation measures were in place to deal with food and land security including other issues brought by climate change due to increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The increase in GHG emissions through human activities and natural causes over the years, has affected temperature, rainfall, melting glaciers and the sea level.
Dr Wellik, reporting on climate change status and strategies at a Port Moresby media workshop hosted by PNG Media Council, said if Papua New Guineans were not careful, the next 30 years would be critical because effects of food security, droughts and fires as well as land security, increased pests and diseases, would be harsh.
Threats to food security included the rising global food and fuel prices, loss of biodiversity and increased consumption of low quality imports.
He said impacts on agriculture, the loss of crops due to floods, drought, soil erosion and salination and increased risks of pests and diseases, would reduce yield and increased dependence on imported foods leading to poor diets and increase in diseases.
Dr Wellik said methods for growing and preserving food were being lost due to rural-urban migration as well as traditional foods and crop varieties.
“High cost of imported foods is forcing households to switch to cheaper products of poor nutritional quality,” he said.
Dr Wellik said these were worst case scenarios and PNG must prepare well in advance to deal with them.