Extreme events are reversing development goals – Op-ed

Patricia Scotland (Commonwealth Secretary-General): Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 January 2020:

Cyclones in the Caribbean and Pacific, devastating bushfires in Australia, recurrent floods and droughts in Asia and Africa, increasingly bring tragic loss of life to our nations and communities, inflicting physical and mental trauma on survivors, and causing irreparable damage to centuries old ways of life and undermining prospects for future prosperity and growth.

The current bushfires in Australia have been among the most distressing manifestations, leading the government to declare a state of emergency. The total cost to the economy of the bushfires with which Australia is grappling seems likely to run into billions of dollars.

Continuous drying of undergrowth creates optimal conditions for bushfires, leading to tragic loss of human lives and destruction of infrastructure. There is devastating impact on the precious biodiversity of flora and fauna, threatening drastically to affect the ecology of the region.

Heightened levels of air pollution in the affected and adjoining regions are having adverse impacts on the respiratory health of scores of people.

Such extreme events are occurring with rising frequency, destroying the means of livelihood for millions people in Commonwealth countries, increasing vulnerability and reducing resilience.

The Commonwealth collectively recognises that without well-planned and integrated national and international action, natural disasters and extreme events will continue to challenge the resilience of affected communities and smaller countries.

The Commonwealth Secretariat is working alongside member nations to protect the environmental health of fragile and susceptible ecosystems, including through increased national preparedness for tackling natural disasters and mobilising resources.

For the arid and drought-prone member countries, which are highly vulnerable to dryness and bushfires, the Commonwealth provides support for governments to develop projects on sustainable and resilient landscape management, with the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH) helping to unlock necessary financial resources.

Similarly, by pooling information into a streamlined platform for better and more convenient access to information, the Commonwealth Disaster Risk Finance Portal currently in development will help countries find suitable sources of finance and support to deal with disasters.

On behalf of citizens of all Commonwealth countries, I express my heartfelt condolences to all families and communities who have lost loved ones in the tragic events of recent days.

I commend the courage and commitment of firefighters, emergency service personnel and all others who are battling to rescue and protect people and property, wildlife and natural resources, or human infrastructure.

In these testing times, the wider Commonwealth family stands in solidarity alongside the Government and people of Australia.


  1. Mr. Thomas – apologies from me for stooping to a lower debating level, even if I had kept it minimal. It won’t happen again.

  2. And just when you thought they were going to put up a fight, or make a fist – they scrambled to their feet and began running like impalas being chased by hungry,merciless lions.(lmao) Its 2020, and we are keeping everyone honest and sincere on this glorious platform….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  3. Mr. Matturi – I’m not here to dispute whether a news source has credibility for being truthful or not. I’ve posted two sources – An AAP source and a Newsweek article – on here on this matter that I thought someone like you and Mr Saidu would consider trust worthy – for the simple reason that you both strike me as someone who always go with official narratives.

    And AAP and Newsweek are as official as they get. Furthermore, it would be senseless to go into the VOX article because the initial argument would’ve then shift from the recent fire outbursts in Australia were deliberated by people instead of the climate to whose source is more credible. It just wouldn’t make sense to navigate that path.

    • Frankly speaking, Mr. Kaloko has now become Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious on this matter.
      I believe, there is nothing more he can tell me and he won’t reply to my questions. God bless Mr. Kaloko. It’s time to move on. God help “get SALONE sorted”.

  4. Mr Kaloko – You got caught with your pants down(lol) Sad isn’t it? You came here hoping to spew out lies,and get away with it,and was totally taken unawares by my unanticipated questions,didn’t you?

    Be honest,you didn’t see them coming did you?Well,you are not the first to come here unprepared,and get totally disparaged,and surely won’t be the last to get dragged through sticky,icky mud by Saidu Conteh.(lol)

    What the hell is wrong with you man,brazenly,spewing out blatant lies like that? 200 people got arrested huh? You saw that first in an eerie dream,and then on SOTT didn’t you?(lol) Oh well,you can now run along,and tell your neighbors,and friends about your experiences here – tell them how you have been stripped from head to toe and exposed as an enemy of the truth.Climate change is real.(lol)

    And remember also to warn them saying;”There’s a merciless lion,seated on the doorsteps of the glorious Sierra Leone Telegraph,be mindful of your words,lest he rips,and tears you to pieces for telling lies like I once foolishly did.(lmao) This conversation ends here Amigo – Adios!.. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

    • Well except that I’ve responded to all the distorted arguments that you have made on this topic since yesterday, but for some odd reason one of my comments is still pending to be posted. There is nothing I can do about that.

      Anyhow, You seem bothered because you keep responding but you are not producing any thing tangible as it relates to the argument but personal attacks – a casual arguer.

      However, you keep totting your own horn over false belief of making more sense. I’m not fazed by it. You can have it.

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