Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The World's First Climate Refugees are on the Move

While some continue the luxury of mulling over whether human activity is contributing to global warming in any significant way, over 3,000 residents of the Cateret Islands in the Pacific are already being described as the world's first "climate refugees."

Despite years of effort, islanders have been unable to counter the rising sea levels around their island community (part of Papua New Guinea) which have finally rendered their land and homes uninhabitable. Over 3,000 have already been already relocated to Bougainville Island 50 miles to the south west.

The community appears to have the dubious privilege of becoming the first people group to be moved in their entirety due to environmental degradation of their homeland.

Independent film maker Pip Starr has documented the move, below. Ursula Rakova, a Cateret resident, tells her personal story of becoming an environmental refugee here.

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