“Portraits from the Edge” Kiribati

Putting a Face to Climate Change

The small Republic of Kiribati, consisting of 33 atolls and situated in the Equatorial Pacific, is slowly and surely going down.  Storm surges, freakish waves, salination of fresh water wells and lands, unpredictable weather and tidal increases, are all contributing to the country’s physical demise. Thirty to forty years is all they have left.

As yet there is no policy from industrial countries, or the UN, as to our collective responsibilities to people such as the I Kiribati. Where will these environmentally displaced people migrate to, and how many? Who will be their host countries?

The I Kiribati remain now, literally on the very edge, as the most vulnerable of peoples, living with climate change.

What we are looking at here is the eventual extinction of a distinct race of people, through loss of their home lands, and with it their vibrant social system and culture. This is irreversible.

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