CLIMATE CHANGE & DISPLACEMENT INITIATIVE
Of all the world’s nations negatively impacted by climate change, none are more threatened with total inundation than Tuvalu. The 10,000 strong population living in the 26 square kilometer country is so concerned about looming displacement and loss of territory, in fact, that approaches have been made by officials of the Government of Tuvalu to several other Governments seeking the use of territory to re-establish the country in neighbouring nations should the continued habitation of Tuvalu become untenable. To date, however, no effective plan for the resettlement of the country’s citizens is in place, nor has agreement been reached with countries in the Pacific region concerning the eventual relocation of those who have lost their homes and lands. A considerable portion of the population supports efforts to adapt and retain Tuvalu, but rising sea levels, growing salt water inundation and ever more ferocious King Tides are making eventual resettlement all but inevitable.
TUVALU PHOTO ESSAY, FEBRUARY 2012
Few countries, if any, are as threatened by climate change as one of the world’s most unique nations – Tuvalu. DS has been active in Tuvalu since 2010 working on the question of climate displacement and related housing, land and property rights questions. With a view to revealing to the world the reality of life in Tuvalu today, and what stands to be lost forever if steps are not taken immediately to halt rising sea levels, DS has released a photo essay describing the challenges facing Tuvalu as a consequence of climate-induced displacement, whilst also outlining creative, well-informed and nuanced solutions to this crisis. Based upon DS’s field visits together with UN Habitat to Tuvalu in 2010 and 2011, and utilising pictures taken by the renowned Pacific photographer, Jocelyn Carlin, the message of this photo essay is one of both hope and the need for planning for an uncertain future.
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.
From 29 August – 15 September, a DS team visited both Kiribati and Tuvalu as a follow-up of the 2010 mission to the Pacific. As low-lying island nations, both Kiribati and Tuvalu are extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the citizens of these countries are at risk of losing houses, lands and livelihoods unless pro-active, rights-based solutions are pursued. During their time in these countries, the DS team engaged with numerous politicians, UN officials, civil society actors and local people in discussions on the particular housing, land and property rights issues at play, as well as investigating the human rights dimension of the climate displacement threat. Over the course of the mission, a short film, an article and two photo booklets were produced to document and assess the crisis that is unfolding in the Pacific.
Displacement Solutions led a three-person mission to Fiji, Kiribati and Tuvalu in August – September 2010. The mission team comprised of Scott Leckie of DS, Dan Lewis of UN Habitat and Emeretta Cross of the Global Dialogue Foundation explored the looming issue of climate-induced displacement and the particular housing, land and property rights issues that are emerging within the context of solving climate displacement.
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. To listen, click here.
For a discussion of the issues relating to climate change induced migration, including the protection of culture and sovereignty from Ilan Kelman’s article “Island Evacuation”, click here.
For an account of the 2006 king tides in Tuvalu from David Cortlett’s book “Stormy Weather”, click here.
ISLANDERS LOSE GROUND TO RISING SEAS
For an overview of the challenges facing Tuvalu as a result of climate change from the Friends of the Earth International publication “Voices from Communities Affected by Climate Change”, click here.
To access Tuvalu’s National Adaptation Plan of Action, click here.
To access the 2007-2009 EACH-FOR case study on the migration of Tuvaluans in New Zealand, click here.
BBC VIDEO ARTICLE
To watch a brief BBC segment on the threat climate change poses Tuvalu, 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 NEW ZEALAND AID PROGRAMME: TUVALU
The purpose of this Programme is to promote sustainability in Tuvalu. It does this through enhancing Tuvalu’s human resources capacity, outer island development and financial management. To learn more, click here.
THE CONSTITUTION OF TUVALU
To see Tuvalu’s Constitution and its provision of housing, land and property rights, click here.
NATIONAL REPORT TO THE UNGA HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, 1-15 DECEMBER 2008
This report identifies climate change as a major human rights challenging facing Tuvalu and outlines the Government’s achievements in response to this challenge. Click here to read.
NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (TE KAKEEGA II): 2005-2015
Te Kakeega II outlines challenges to and strategies for Tuvalu’s sustainable development and addresses both housing (7.3) and natural resources (11) which will be directly impacted by climate change. To read this strategy, click here.
PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND TUVALU
This partnership, agreed upon in 2009, acknowledges the challenge climate change and sea level rise will pose to development, and involves a commitment from the Australian Government to financially support Te Kakeega II. To read the conditions of this partnership, click here.