World's First Climate Change Refugees to Be Rescued in 2009

Carterets Island photo

Photo by Pip Starr from Flickr

Early in 2009 40 families, who’ve been called the ‘world's first climate change refugees,’ will relocated from their flooded Pacific Island to the nearby Papau New Guinean island of Bougainville. About a third of the 2,000 Carterets Islanders have apparently refused to be relocated, in an ongoing program that will take six years and millions of dollars. But they may have no choice in the matter, because its is expected that their island home will submerged by 2015. The photo above shows one of their island has already been severed in half.Waters around the atoll have risen 10 centimetres in the past 20 years. This may not sound like much but when your total land area is only 0.6 square kilometres and you have a maximum elevation of 1.2 metres above sea level you tend to notice such changes. It has, for example, as this video from YouTube indicates, devastated local agricultural crops that now succumb to the rising high tides of salt water.

One of the elders interviewed in the vid believes they are victims of the greenhouse gas emissions created by developed countries. This is not a a new story as such, it has been much reported on during the past two or three years, but it’s only now that a timetable with funds, seems to have come together to help those islanders who will move.

Sources:: Solomon Times, Digital Journalist, Pip Starr, and Friends of the Earth.

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