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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 2, 2001 -The National/PINA Nius Online)---The most senior politician in Papua New Guinea's Gulf Province, Chris Haiveta, fears that shoreline erosion and non-seasonal flooding are threatening his people's lifestyle.

Speaking at Lelefiru village during the launch of World Environment Day events, Mr. Haiveta said he was alarmed at the increased extent and severity of shoreline erosion, rising water levels and non-seasonal flooding of low-lying areas.

He said this was affecting the location of villages, gardening and fishing areas, water supply sources and sanitation.

Mr. Haiveta said the concern was brought to the attention of the Office of Environment and Conservation, which has begun an extensive assessment.

Gulf Province serves as the major outlet for waterways and river systems from most of the central mountain ranges of the PNG mainland, where many of the mining, petroleum, and forestry development activities take place.

Waste from these activities is dumped into river systems that flow out to sea in the province and contribute to the damage highlighted by Mr. Haiveta.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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