Taiwan helps Pacific island nations become self-sufficient
Feb 12, 2011, 14:54 GMT
Taipei - Taiwan said Saturday that it is trying to help its Pacific island allies become self-sufficient and also seeking to help cut the impact of climate change on these islands.
President Ma Ying-jeou, in his weekly newsletter, said that Taiwan's six diplomatic allies in the Pacific Ocean - Palau, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Isklabds, Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu - are threatened by rising sea levels, so Taipei is trying to help them.
Ma said that when he visited three Pacific allies in March last year, he saw how the rising sea level had begun to affect them.
'One shocking thing is that coconut trees, on which the islanders depend for everything, from drinks to building material, are leaning or dying because the rising sea level has caused salination of the soil,' he said.
The impact has extended to other areas of the islanders' lives, including water resources, farming and schools, so some island nations are considering moving their population to other places.
Ma said that Taiwan plans to help its Pacific allies to become self-sustaining and cope with the impact of climate change.
One of the projects, carried out on Nauru, is called '630' - helping Nauru grow six kinds of fruits and vegetables, achieve this in three years and cut imports to zero.
Last year Taiwan sent a delegation to Nauru to assess the feasibility of turning Nauru into a zero-carbon island.
'Nauru has plenty of sunshine, but relies on a diesel-burning power plant to generate electricity and must import diesel,' Ma said.
'We are now thinking how to help Nauru cut its import and let them use solar power to produce electricity,' he said.
The six Pacific island states are among the 32 countries that recognized Taiwan, formally called the Republic of China.
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