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Micronesia Non-Profit Congress focusing on impacts of climate change

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Courtesy: Eventbrite Courtesy: Eventbrite

It's no longer just climate change, it's a climate crisis. So says Emele Duituturaga, the executive director of the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organizations. She's here for the 9th Micronesian Nonprofit Congress, hosted by Payu-ta, Guam's NGO umbrella group.

Duituturaga says years of gas emissions and global warming are now wreaking havoc in Oceania, with devastating category 5 and 6 storms.

"In Vanuatu, for example, we have tropical cyclone Pam that hit Vanuatu and they lost 60 percent of the country's GDP. Tropical cyclone Winston hit Fiji, we lost 40 percent of our GDP. So when your infrastructure comes crumbling down, and when half of your population, if not three-quarters, have nowhere to go, no homes, governments have not really prepared for this," she explained.

The annual conference brings together various non-profit groups in Guam, and from 24 islands in the Pacific, to discuss ways to cooperate on community and grassroots issues.

"So we not only have a local, regional and sub-regional, but we have a global in terms of what our people are needing and asking for, and what are the issues that we need to address from human trafficking, to domestic violence, to drug and alcohol abuse to climate crisis," said Sarah Thomas-Nededog of Payu'ta.

The conference gets underway Wednesday at the Westin.

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