Joining Hands, Helping Each OtherJuly 29, 2015

The United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation may not be a signal for nations on the south of the equator to form a league, but it can happen anytime soon. Recent events have shown more problems affecting these parts, and something must be done to prevent it. Many issues are due to climate change.

We may not be needed on September 12, the date of this event, but we can talk about it. Here are some pressing matters:

Rise in sea level. The breaking and melting of the Antarctic ice shelf have been foreseen, but no one can tell if the continent's landmass will appear soon. It will be a crisis if it happens, threatening the Pacific islands and the archipelago off the southern tip of South America. Imagine how many people will be displaced, seeking new home. And Oz will be one of the likely places they'll go to. Are we up to it? There may be a case of overpopulation in the metropolis, so the Outback is the next option. No problem about space, but these individuals live near the sea all their lives. These are possible scenarios and there's no concrete data to show that this will happen, but we must think about it.

Desertification. Sub-Saharan Africa is far from being endangered of desertification, but it might not be the case after half a century. Population growth and poor urban planning pose danger to the continent's natural resources. Expect migration to the northern parts in case of the worst scenario. Australia may be far away, but don't think we're unaffected. There's a thing called domino effect.

Olympics. The US Olympic Committee withdrew Boston's bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, which gave Los Angeles a chance to host the prestigious sport event for the third time. This is not surprising, after the spate of withdrawals of potential hosts of the 2022 Winter Olympics. It means hosting the Olympics is a very serious matter, and it may not be economically viable to some countries. The time will come that previous host cities have to bid again. (Paris, which held the Summer Games in 1900 and 1924, is also interested in bidding for the 2024 Olympics.) This means Melbourne and Sydney, hosts of the 1956 and 2000 Games respectively, can make another bid. Both cities can also do a co-bidding.

Agriculture. Australia is a major agricultural producer and exporter, where farms cover 61% of the country's landmass. Climate change, which affects water availability and quality of agriculture, is expected. This is no reason for concern, though. We might talk about keeping this upward curve for many years, and what may be the possible challenges that this industry will face in the coming decades.

Tourism. The country is arguably the top tourist destination in the Southern Hemisphere. This is good for the economy, but too much tourists may be bad for Australia. This is an interesting topic for debate.

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