Mr. Jeem Lippwe
Deputy Permanent Representative of the
Federated States of Micronesia to the UN
Before the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting of the
17th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
on cross-cutting Issues
New York, 27 February 2009
Check Against Delivery
I would first like to align myself with the statements delivered on behalf of AOSIS and of the Pacific SIDS.
Land, agriculture, rural development are important factors in the sustainable development of my country. Drought and desertification are major obstacles. All these are effected are linked by the adverse impacts of climate change. Land is threatened by erosion, agriculture by salinization and rural development suffers as a result. Drought is on the increase.
We know what the adverse impacts of climate change are already causing in our islands but we need more detailed meteorological data to give us a look of the future. Already, the United Nations and some of our developing partners are collecting relevant data in the area. We encourage them to share the data and help in training our officials in interpreting the data. With a detailed outlook we can make educated policy decisions that can climate proof our sustainable development.
Some of our crops are falling prey to the adverse impacts of climate change. Changing weather patterns and ground water salinazation endanger some of our traditional food staples such as taro. We need outside expertise to identify suitable replacements to continue feed our population. My delegation is particularly encouraged by the research in this field undertaken by the University of Hawai'i. In addition, we also have to conserve and replant our mangroves to protect our crops.
However, no only are our land-based food sources under threat but also our oceans. Ocean acidification and the rise in sea temperature are threatening our coral reefs and fish supplies. We urgently need to protect and restore our coral reefs.
Overfishing and especially the commercial catching of untargeted fish, or the so-called bycatch and discards is making matters worse. An international commitment to end unsustainable fishing practices is long overdue.