Tebunginako villagers stand in the sea where their village used to be. They had to relocate their village because of rising sea levels, erosion and saltwater inundation. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Kiribati is faced with sea level rise impacts now

Tebunginako villagers stand in the sea where their village used to be. They had to relocate their village because of rising sea levels, erosion and saltwater inundation. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

Tebunginako villagers stand in the sea where their village used to be. They had to relocate their village because of rising sea levels, erosion and saltwater inundation. Photo: Justin McManus, The Age

The leader of the small Pacific island nation of Kiribati, which is threatened by rising oceans, appealed for greater international efforts to come up with solutions as people in some low-lying areas of the world are forced to relocate. The Desert Sun, reports.

Kiribati’s president, Anote Tong, spoke after a three-day retreat at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, which was led by Prince Albert II of Monaco and focused on the problems of sea level rise and the growing acidity of the world’s oceans.

Tong pointed out that based on scientific predictions of sea level rise, the coral atolls that make up his homeland will be underwater within a century.

“We have nowhere else to go,” Tong said in an interview after the retreat. “We already have communities which have had to relocate because what was their home was no longer there. And so we are feeling impacts now already.”

Tong’s government recently bought land in Fiji, and has been considering a variety of potential ways for the country of about 100,000 people to adapt. Some people have already moved to New Zealand, expecting growing problems with flooding and water supplies in the coming years.

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