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Residents of Kiribati must relocate to avoid the drowning nation

March 8, 2012

Kiribati parliament house, Tarawa

Kiribati parliament house, Tarawa

If you have always wanted to visit the tiny island nation of Kiribati then the time is now. With just two feet above the sea level, Kiribati is sinking under the water and the 113,000 citizens of Kiribati will have to relocate. The rising oceans caused by global warming have been catastrophic for this island. Terrifying!

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the President of Kiribati is negotiating with the military government of Fiji for 2000 hectares of land so that the residents of Kiribati can start afresh.

Villagers with seawater lapping at their feet have been forced to abandon settlements. Freshwater supplies and crops have been ruined by salt water, while storms are causing shoreline erosion.

The President says relocating is the country’s last resort. We hope the two governments can sort something out.

Some i-Kiribati, as the islanders are known, have concerns about whether their culture would survive after the population moves, especially if those who leave first are mainly the young.

Kiribati is a member of the Commonwealth and was known as the Gilbert Islands until independence from Britain in 1979.
The islands were named after Thomas Gilbert, a British naval captain who navigated the archipelago in 1788. Kiribati is the local pronunciation of Gilbert.



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