830 Communities for Likely Relocation

Oct. 3, 2017, 6:25 a.m.


Some 830 communities have been identified for likely relocation to escape rising sea levels.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said that of this group, about 40 were classified as high priority.

“We will keep them as close to their current location as possible so that the cultural, social and economic disruption can be kept to a minimum,” he said the Colombo Plans Meeting underway in Suva.

The coastal village of Vunidogoloa in Vanua Levu became the first mass relocation due to climate change, and were provided with new homes away from the crumbling shores of the Natewa Bay.

Neighbouring Pacific countries have also taken steps, with efforts to address a gradual submergence seeing the Government of Kiribati purchasing 20 square kilometres of farmland in Vanua Levu for food security in 2014.

The Fijian Government has also committed to providing a permanent home to the entire populations of Kiribati and Tuvalu if rising sea levels worsen and submerge its low-laying islands.

The Kiribati Government has already begun growing root crops on its land, which was sold by the Church of England for $8.77 million.