The need for good governance persists
Sean Jacobs, Alochonaa (Dialogue), 30 April 2014
“Climate change is an issue that I will continue to talk about for as long as I have breath in my body,” said Kiribati President Anote Tong to the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. “This is a critical issue for the survival of our people and for all of humanity. It remains the greatest moral challenge of our time.”
Few images in the West are more emotive than a small island archipelago slowly being consumed by rising sea levels. A sense of guilt is generated in the developed world by images of intrusive waters dabbing the stilts of idyllic, thatched houses. Coconut trees and village gardens, we are told, are drowning under tides that rise much higher than in previous years.
Alongside melting ice caps and the plight of polar bears, this imagery has been deployed to promote a dizzying list of climate change and environmental projects in the South Pacific. For the region’s political leaders, the mere mention of climate change in the halls of Geneva or New York is enough to stimulate more rounds of aid and a proliferation of pacts, memoranda, protocols, declarations and international agreements on climate change and the environment.