australia: carteret islanders tour to warn of rising climate threat
The Carteret Islanders are amongst the world's first “climate refugees”.
They have fought for more than twenty years to prevent their lands from
being flooded by the rising ocean, by building sea walls and planting
mangroves. However, storm surges and high tides continue to wash away
homes, destroy vegetable gardens, and contaminate fresh water supplies.
It has been estimated that by 2015, the Carterets could be largely
submerged and entirely uninhabitable. The Carteret community has
organised itself through the NGO Tulele Peisa, to organise relocation to
the island of Bougainville.
During the speaking tour, Carteret Islanders visited Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Newcastle, and took part in public meetings, lobbying events, a series of roundtable forums, and media events.
The islanders’ plight highlights the need for rich countries like Australia to address climate change by significantly reducing their emissions, and to support adaptation and resilience-building in climate-affected communities.