INITIATIVES

CLIMATE CHANGE & DISPLACEMENT INITIATIVE
KIRIBATI

CURRENT INITIATIVE

The 100,000 people of Kiribati are on the frontline of climate displacement. DS is working with the government and civil society to find the best ways of overcoming the displacement and other housing, land and property challenges facing this Pacific nation. DS has carried out field visits to work on the issue of climate change-induced displacement in Kiribati in both 2010 and 2011. In this section of the website we will be posting relevant publications, reports, film and other information on the many epic struggles facing the people of Kiribati.

 

Having interviewed scores of i-Kiribati citizens over the past four years, DS has yet to meet a person or family from any income-level who has not already thought deeply about their own personal displacement prospects, including migration plans, should it come to that. The people of Kiribati are already coming to grips with the idea that they may one day need to leave their cherished island homes. No one knows for certain, however, just at what point the country of Kiribati will become effectively uninhabitable; this could become the tragic fate of the country perhaps as early as 2050, or, all other things being equal, not occur for a century or more. Nonetheless, some internal displacement has already occurred.

After intensive investigations within the country over the past several years and thorough analyses of numerous reports addressing the effects on Kiribati from climate change, DS believes that the pursuit of a coordinated strategy that focuses simultaneously on improving the human rights and development prospects of all i-Kiribati people today (fight), combined with an approach that guarantees the right to new land in safe locations, whether within the country or elsewhere, for everyone forced to flee the country as sea levels rise to unsustainable levels (flight) will hold out the best hope for the people of Kiribati.

DS was the first organisation to visit the 6000 acre land site in Fiji recently purchased by the government of Kiribati, and also the only group that has sought to estimate the total amount of land required globally to ensure access to new land resources for the entire current and future climate displaced population of the planet; which lies somewhere between 12.5-50 million acres, or 0.14% of the Earth’s land surface (roughly the size of Costa Rica up to the size of Uganda). DS is now expanding our work on the land sector and intends to further advance the stubble for land across the globe.

 

PUBLICATIONS

DS KIRIBATI PHOTO ESSAY, FEBRUARY 2012

Kiribati – a country of some 110,000 people, living on land with a maximum elevation of a little over 3 metres – has been shot into the international spotlight due to President Anote Tong’s unique “dignified migration” response to looming climate change – an approach that acknowledges the inevitability of climate displacement and thus endeavours to educate and train the i-Kiribati population so as to make them suitable for acceptance as skilled migrants in neighbouring countries when the fateful climate doomsday does indeed arrive. Drawing upon its extensive work in Kiribati over the last 2 years under its Climate Change and Displacement Initiative (CCDI), Displacement Solutions has just released a photo essay that analyses the government’s climate change approach and proposes a range of innovative yet practical solutions to climate displacement, featuring photographs taken by Jocelyn Carlin during the 2011 joint DS-UN HABITAT mission to the Pacific.

View the Photoessay here.

DS ARTICLE – KIRIBATI AND TUVALU WILL DROWN WITHOUT CLIMATE ACTION, NOVEMBER 2010

This article was written by DS director, Scott Leckie, and Dan Lewis of UN HABITAT after the 2010 DS mission to the Pacific and was subsequently published by the Ecologist. It canvasses possible solutions to the looming climate displacement in Tuvalu and Kiribati – to access it, click here.

DS MISSIONS

IRIN GLOBAL ARTICLE ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT AND THE WORK OF DS ON THIS ISSUE, JANUARY 2014

As an increasing number of people around the globe experience the reality of climate change and displacement, the need for rights-based solutions to this crisis is becoming ever more pertinent. This article provides an overview of the issues around climate change and displacement, covering the human effects of climate displacement in Palau and the work of the Nansen Initiative, and also features an interview with Scott Leckie about the work of DS on this topic. The significance of the Peninsula Principles are discussed, as is the in-country work of DS in relocating climate displaced persons in Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea. To read the article, click here.

 

FORCED MIGRATION REVIEW ARTICLE ON THE MANAGEMENT OF CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT BY SCOTT LECKIE, DECEMBER 2012

Advocates who work for those at risk of displacement have come to the realisation that they are now also campaigners for resettlement and relocation. With this new role comes many difficult cultural, geographical and social issues and questions for those who are forced from their ‘place’ in the world, the host country and the rest of the world that sits back at watches as the secure fate of a people is bypassed in favour of the almighty tourism buck.

Displacement Solutions Director, Scott Leckie, explores the issues that international campaigners face if the solution to climate displacement is relocation to new lands. To access the article, click here.

DEUTSCHE WELLE ARTICLE ABOUT DS’ WORK ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT, AUGUST 2011

Deutsche Welle recently published an article about Displacement Solutions and its work in finding solutions for displaced persons throughout the world. Included in this article is information about the work of DS in Bangladesh and other climate-affected countries. To access the article, click here.

DS DIRECTOR ADDRESSES CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT EVENT IN BERLIN, JUNE 2010

DS Director Scott Leckie was invited by German Green Party MP Ute Koczy and the Heinrich Boell Stiftung to present a talk on climate displacement and land solutions for those displaced. The talk formed part of a panel discussion held on 29 June 2010 in Berlin, and focused on DS efforts in Bangladesh, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu to find viable and rights-based solutions to climate displacement for all affected persons and communities.

CLIMATE-RELATED DISASTERS AND DISPLACEMENT: HOMES FOR HOMES, LANDS FOR LANDS, JUNE 2009

This paper was presented by DS Director Scott Leckie to the Expert-Group meeting on Population Dynamics and Climate Change, London, June 2009.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARTICLE, SEPTEMBER 2008

An article on the human rights implications of climate change by DS Director Scott Leckie, featured in the September 2008 edition of Forced Migration Review.


 Download Forced Migration Review (4Mb)  Download Scott’s Article (460KB)

INTERVIEWS

DS DIRECTOR INTERVIEWED ON RADIO NATIONAL ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC REGION, APRIL 2012

 

DS Director, Scott Leckie, spoke with Heather Jarvis on Radio Australia Asia Pacific on 18 April, 2012 about the intended use of land purchased in Vanua Levu, Fiji, by the Government of Kiribati. This interview follows significant coverage of Kiribati President Anote Tong’s plan for ‘dignifed migration’ for the i-Kiribati people in the face of rising sea levels and the many other challenges climate change has brought the island nation. In this interview he discussed a number of relocation and adaptation issues relating to climate displacement in these areas, in particular, addressing the need for investment in both domestic social services in the short to medium-term and long-term planning that may include off-shore solutions. Listen to the interview here.

RADIO AUSTRALIA INTERVIEW ON THE 2010 DS MISSION TO THE PACIFIC, DECEMBER 2010

On 14 December, 2010, DS Director, Scott Leckie, spoke to Radio Australia regarding his fact-finding mission in the Pacific Island of Kiribati and Tuvalu that year, and a number of relocation and adaptation issues relating to climate displacement in those countries.

FURTHER RESOURCES

SBS ARTICLE ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN FIJI, JANUARY 2014

Rising sea levels have prompted the Fiji government to relocate one of the country’s most vulnerable seaside communities. Around 50 families have been relocated to higher ground to escape frequent flooding. The government says it expects to carry out more relocations within the next decade to help communities adapt to rising sea levels. To read the full article click here.

KIRIBATI GOVERNMENT CLIMATE CHANGE PORTAL 

For the latest climate change-related news in Kiribati, visit the Government’s climate change web portal here.

LIFE ON THE EDGE 

For an eyewitness perspective of the immense displacement and other challenges facing the government and people of Kiribati, please watch this moving video by clicking here.

KIRIBATI NAPA 

For a look at the Kiribati Government’s National Adaptation Program of Action for coping with the effects of climate change in Kiribati, please click here.

KIRIBATI PHOTO GALLERY 

For moving photos of the plight of those affected by climate change in Kiribati, have a look at the photographs of Jocelyn Carlin here.

THE TIDES OF CHANGE 

“The Tides of Change” is an article by Jessica Shor about the threat climate change poses for Kiribati. Access it here.

KIRIBATI – RELOCATION AND ADAPTATION 

In this article from the Forced Migration Review (FMR), McAdam and Loughry discuss the likely effects climate change will have on Kiribati and investigate the possibilities of relocation as a form of adaptation in this instance. To read it, click here.

THE KIRIBATI ADAPTATION PROJECT (KAP) 

The Government of Kiribati has begun to implement an adaptation project in response to the looming spectre of climate change and climate-induced displacement. To learn about this project, please visit their website which is accessible here.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SUBMISSION TO THE UN UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW 

In this submission, AI calls for the overcrowding and related issues on the Tarawa Atoll to be addressed as a matter of human rights. To read it, click here.

THE NEW ZEALAND AID PROGRAMME: KIRIBATI 

This Programme invests money in developing the I-Kiribati workforce and in sustainable urban development in Kiribati. To see the details of this Programme’s work in Kiribati, click here.

NATIONAL REPORT TO THE UNGA HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, 3 MAY 2010 

This report evaluates of the human rights challenges facing Kiribati, including those relating to climate change. To access it, click here.

IPCC CLIMATE CHANGE 2007: SMALL ISLANDS 

“Small Islands” is Chapter 16 of the IPCC’s fourth report on climate change. This chapter provides the most thorough assessment published as yet of the effects climate change will have on small island states like Kiribati, Tuvalu and Maldives. To access this chapter, click here.

THE CONSTITUTION OF KIRIBATI 

To see Kiribati’s Constitution and its provisions for housing, land and property rights, click here.