As 10,000 people living on Vanuatu’s island of Ambae wait to return home after the Manaro volcano threatened to erupt, there’s already fears another natural disaster looming.
The Pacific islands, just like Australia’s northern tropics, are about to enter cyclone season.
At the inaugural Pacific Week of Agriculture (PWA) in Vanuatu’s capital of Port Vila this week, it was highlighted that climate change is increasing the risk of damage by destructive winds, reports AAP.
“There will be less cyclones but the severity of the cyclones will be far, far more,” Pacific Community’s Siosiua Halavatau said.
Following on from Cyclone Pam in 2015 and Cyclone Winston in 2016, Halavatau predicted the region will be “getting another one very soon”.
Vanuatu Agriculture Minister Matai Seremaiah Nawalu says more needs to be done to protect the region from natural disasters.
“Climate change poses a threat to the very survival of the South Pacific nations,” he said at the conference.
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research aims to improve the resilience of agriculture and food systems in developing countries.
ACIAR chief executive Andrew Campbell says several projects are targeted at lessening the damage caused by natural disasters, including better forecasting and the planting of more trees.
“These guys are going to get more droughts than they’re used to, so they’re going to need farming systems that have several crops growing on the same piece of land,” he said.