Entire Pacific Nation Might Move to Fiji

Kiribati considers backup plan as sea levels rise
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2012 11:16 AM CST
Entire Pacific Nation Might Move to Fiji
An aerial view of Tarawa atoll, Kiribati.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

The Pacific archipelago of Kiribati is so worried about rising water levels that the government might just move everyone to Fiji, the AP reports. The president's Cabinet has approved a plan to buy 6,000 acres on Fiji's main island in case Kiribati's 103,000 residents need a new home in coming years. "We would hope not to put everyone on one piece of land, but if it became absolutely necessary, yes, we could do it," says President Anote Tong.

One hitch: They haven't brought this up to Fiji yet. Tong will wait until the plan clears parliament before broaching the subject with its "neighbor" 1,400 miles to the south. The encroaching sea already has caused groundwater contamination on Kiribati, and the problems are only expected to get worse. "We're trying to secure the future of our people," says Tong. "The international community needs to be addressing this problem more." (Read more Fiji stories.)

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