The rising tides of climate change - the challenge to prepare - An Asia-Pacific perspective

An inside view from the Pacific with Australian observations

With Dr Alice Aruhe'eta Pollard, Director of West 'Are 'Are Rokotanikeni (WARA) in the Solomon Islands

Wednesday 14 November 2012, Allan Scott Auditorium

  Podcast available HERE - listen now
  (MP3) 31Mb (or right click and select 'save target as' to download)
  Powerpoint presentation from Darren Ray (pdf format)


Jointly presented by Just Sustainability Australia and The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA

Rising sea levels are expected to spark the largest movement of displaced people in human history. The geo-political challenge of rising waters and homeless populations is vast.

How will this affect Australia? What are we doing to prepare?

Alice Aruhe'eta Pollard, speaking with the benefit of lived experience of rising waters and their negative impact, will present the keynote address.  She will outline the challenges to her homelands, the Solomon Islands, particularly for food security, and will be followed by Darren Ray, Senior Meteorologist at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, giving an Australian perspective.

This is part two of a forum series supported through funds from Amnesty International.  Part one was held on 9 May 2012.  Podcast is available here.

Chair: Dr Jacqueline Balston, Applied Climatologist and Consultant and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Barbara Hardy Institute, University of South Australia

Dr Alice Aruhe'eta Pollard is Director of West 'Are 'Are Rokotanikeni (WARA), an International Women's Development Agency (IWDA) partner organisation, in the Solomon Islands.  She is the winner of a World of Difference 100 Award from The International Alliance for Women (TIAW). The World of Difference 100 Award recognises "amazing individuals whose efforts have advanced the economic empowerment of women locally, regionally or worldwide whether they are well known or 'unsung heroines'."

Dr Pollard is among the Solomon Islands most prominent women leaders. As a researcher on various social issues and leadership in Solomon Islands, Dr Pollard has a deep understanding of issues that impact on gender, culture, agriculture and food security, leadership, community development and rural livelihood. She was a key figure in the Women for Peace movement at the height of the Solomon's civil conflict.  She is a member of various boards and committees, Coordinator of Women in Government Strategic Programme (2008 -2010), Chairperson of the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education Council (2009 -2011). 

Dr Pollard currently chairs the University of the South Pacific, Solomon Islands Campus Advisory Committee, she also chairs the Solomon Islands Democratic Party and Director of Leadership development program. Dr Pollard is one of only three Solomon Islands women with a PhD. She also founded a rural based women's association in Malaita province which currently has 700 financial members. She is strongly involved in providing financial literacy training for rural women.

As a woman whose village is situated along the coast of West AreAre, in Malaita, her own village is threatened by climate change. The land she used to cultivate for subsistence gardening as a small girl is now under water. A woman who has challenged and spoken against logging yet had fallen on deaf ears, she continues to advocate against logging in her own area and other issues.

The World of Difference 100 Award is the most recent recognition of Alice's extraordinary achievements. In April 2012, IWDA's Patron, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of Australia, travelled to Honiara in the Solomon Islands to launch WARA's new financial literacy manuals in a ceremony at the Solomon Islands parliament.

Darren Ray, Senior Meteorologist /Climatologist and Head of South Australian Climate Section, Bureau of Meteorology

Darren Ray's career in the Bureau of Meteorology began in regional weather forecasting, before he followed a long-term interest in climate influences and trends in Australia and climate change science, into the South Australian Climate Section which he heads up. Darren's work includes analysis and monitoring of South Australian climate influences, seasonal and intra-seasonal forecasting, and analysis of trends in extreme temperature and rainfall in South Australia.

Just Sustainability Australia Inc. (JSA) work broadly in the area of anthropogenic climate change and its human rights implications. Their organisation seeks to address the current and likely future human rights impacts of climate change upon Australia and countries in our region.

It is almost certain that rising CO2 levels will result in sea level rises of 1 metre by 2100, and 5-25 metres by 2300. As well as causing damage to seafront properties and cutting some communities off from the Australian mainland, rising seas levels will spark the largest movement of displaced people in human history.   How will this affect Australia? What are we doing to get ready?

More information on JSA can be found on their website