Surviving Paradise

An island paradise slowly being swallowed by the Pacific

Surviving Paradise The remote tropical island nation of Kiribati holds a dubious honour: it is predicted to be the first country to disappear as a result of climate change.
“Every year the land loses about 1.5 metres. Every year”, laments Boobu Torobimo, who has lost three houses to rising sea levels. Despite the evidence, many residents do not believe these claims, instead having faith in God’s promise to Noah that there will be no more floods. “Only God can tell the future”, says Presbyterian Soama Tafia confidently. There are those responding with positive action, for instance by planting mangroves along the shoreline to resist against flooding; but former Kiribati president Anote Tong fears it will be too little, too late. “It’s going to happen, and it’s going to be on a massive scale". His lucid speeches to the UN, imploring the world to address climate change, won the nation exposure but regrettably little action. There seems only a slim chance that Kiribati will remain inhabitable in 50 years’ time.

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