Monday, June 1, 2015

Share expertise to tackle climate change issues: Raymond Anthony Fernando’s letter to the press.

My letter to the Straits Times on the above subject is published today, Monday 1st June 2015.

It appears that climate change is coming at a much faster pace than was anticipated - with India and the Philippines experiencing heatwaves and dry spells that resulted in deaths and the loss of crops ("More than 1,000 dead in Indian heatwave" and "Philippine dam hits critical level"; last Thursday).

In other parts of the world, such as in Texas and Oklahoma, it is the opposite trend: Flooding brought on by rain has seen 17 people killed ("Rain in Texas, Oklahoma kill 17"; last Thursday).

With harvests and the rationing of water likely to come on stream, I fear life is going to get tougher for both the Filipinos and the Indians.

With these dramatic changes, countries with expertise in climate change, water conservation and storage can do their part to help people cope.

Communication is vital in today's globalised world, and foreign domestic workers who work outside their countries must be able to stay connected with their families back home via social media and the Internet. But these services often break down when natural disasters take place.

Singapore has thousands of these foreign workers, who provide much-needed support to families and the healthcare industry here.

Singapore and richer nations can do their part by providing knowledge and expertise in water conservation and storage, as well as helping the affected countries improve their infrastructure, which includes Internet connections.

During regular dialogues with world leaders, and at economic conferences and world summits, Singapore leaders can try to persuade rich nations to rally around countries facing challenges and provide them with resources and expertise.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

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