UK FILM CREW DOCUMENTS SEA LEVEL RISE IN PNG

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By Augustine Kinna

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Jan. 22) - A British television crew visited the Caterets Island on Bougainville last week and produced a documentary report on global warming that is currently affecting the island.

[PIR editor’s note: Bougainville is located to the northeast of Papua New Guinea’s mainland peninsula.]

The Independent Television News (ITN), one of the best watched news stations in Britain, engaged a three-man TV crew to gather first-hand information on the raising sea level on Caterets Island.

The crew is comprised of journalist Martin Geissler, cameraman Duncan Jones and documentary producer Michael Herrod.

The group spent about a week on the island filming small video series on climate change, especially the rise in sea level that is threatening the island.

According to Mr. Geissler, their film documentary aims to inform people on the effects of global warming and "what is happening to our world today if we do not take care of it."

He said in their report, they mainly highlighted the issue of climate change leading to erosion that was now destroying the island.

"We hope that it would have some impact to change the attitude of developing countries to take extra precaution when pumping poisonous gas into the air from their factories," Geissler said.

He said that industrial countries were responsible for the effects of the raising sea level that is destroying the island.

The Caterets islanders said sea erosion was now worsening in the area where the sea encroaches into the island’s shore at the height of 2 meters during high tide.

They said the island’s soil was highly concentrated with salt, which is bad for the island’s crops.

"At the moment, we are just surviving on marine resources and fresh coconut that we eat everyday," they said.

The islanders say in 10 to 15 years, they fear that the Caterets Island could go under the water.

The Bougainville administration is negotiating for a land on mainland Bougainville where the islanders could be resettled.

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