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DS Documents Climate Displacement in Lau Lagoon, Solomon Islands

DS has just completed a two-week field mission to yet another climate displacement hotspot, Lau Lagoon on Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands. The Lau Lagoon, perched on the north-east tip of Malaita, covers 35 square km of shallow reef. It is shadowed by the island of Maana ‘Oba in its northern reaches and exposed to the deep Western Pacific Ocean in its central and southern parts. Dotted by 80 to 100 coral man-made islands, each typically housing between 5 and 400 people, the lagoon’s security is essential to many lives. Increasing numbers of these islands are now beginning to lay uninhabited as residents leave behind destroyed homes and flee the ever-worsening consequences of climate-change. Although relocation to the mainland due to these worsening conditions has been happening for over a decade, there exists today a new urgency. Shortages of suitable land for relocation are leaving the people of the Lau Lagoon anxious about their future and that of generations to come. DS has been active in the Solomon Islands for the past two years, as part of our Climate Displacement Land Initiative and hopes to return soon to work the people, the Church, civil society and the government to find the most effective and rights-based ways to protect everyone in the Solomons who has no other option than finding new land resources as their current homes become increasingly uninhabitable. DS associated photojournalist Beni Knight documented the reality facing the people of Lau Lagoon, the severity of which is visible in the selection of photos below. DS will publish a photo essay on the situation in Lau Lagoon shortly.

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