In a World first, we may see the tiny Island of Kiribati become totally uninhabitable from rising sea levels due to climate change. As the debate continues amongst the skeptics as to whether or not man made climate change is actually real, the people of Kiribati will be relocating to Fiji! Maybe it is time we start taking climate change seriously!
In the not too near distant future we may see refugees of a different kind?
In what may be the first climate-induced migration of modern times, the Republic of Kiribati has begun talks with Fiji about buying 5,000 acres for its residents. Kiribati’s president, Anote Tong, recently told a British newspaper there is “no way out” other than mass migration.
The archipelago nation’s president Anote Tong said his cabinet had endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres of land on Viti Levu, the main Fijian island, at a cost of $9.6million (£6.1million).
Much of Kiribati’s 103,000-strong population lives just several metres above sea level and while the Pacific Ocean rises just 2mm (0.1in) per year, changing rainfall, tidal and storm patterns have already seen underground water supplies contaminated by saltwater.
President Tong said the proposed land purchase would represent an insurance policy rather than a forced exodus.
‘We would hope not to put everyone on one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it,’ he said. ‘It wouldn’t be for me, personally, but would apply more to a younger generation. For them, moving won’t be a matter of choice. It’s basically going to be a matter of survival.’