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Migration not a priority yet: Kiribati

07:05 Mon Jul 22, 2013

Rising sea levels continue to threaten their livelihood in Kiribati.

Taken from/By: Google
Report by: Roland Koroi

The purchasing of land in Vanua Levu by the government of Kiribati does not mean the whole population of the island nation will migrate to Fiji.

That’s the clarification by the Kiribati High Commissioner to Fiji, Reteta Rimon.

Six thousand acres of land is being surveyed in the north and the purchase is close to being finalised.

The land, in Savusavu, belongs to the Anglican Church of Fiji and is being sought after by the Kiribati government as rising sea levels continue to threaten their livelihood.

According to the Kiribati High Commissioner here, migrating to Fiji isn’t their priority……at least not for now!

“One of the issues, maybe immediate one would be to develop the land, maybe agriculture production and maybe other economic activities but of course I wouldn’t want to pre-empt government’s decision because nothing is being finalised yet.”

Speaking about the effects of climate change back home wasn’t easy for Reteta Rimon, but she agrees that eventually, the rising sea levels will force them out of their land, and Fiji could become home to some.

“In the long term, when our land is no longer inhabitable, those who have the means and wish to move, perhaps there’s somewhere they could go to, but of course my government will be talking to the Fijian government. We’re not going to just have a lot of people coming over to settle as reported by the media.”

According to Rimon, the feedback from the Fijian government has been very positive, at the same time praising the support shown towards the people of Kiribati.

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