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What can you do about a vanishing nation?

October 12th, 2009

A new IFAD documentary explores some of the issues that keep Anote Tong awake and put his nation’s 108,000 residents at risk.  Tong is President of Kiribati, a small nation – a group of 33 atoll islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, half-way between Australia and Hawaii. Tong is faced with a dilemma the likes of which most government leaders couldn’t image. Scientists predict that within 30 to 50 years the nation he governs will have disappeared, covered over by rising seas resulting from global climate change.

The IFAD documentary aired on BBC as part of tve’s new ‘Life on the Edge’ series on BBC World News. “The President’s Dilemma” takes a hard look at the impact that climate change is having on poor, low-lying island nations like Kiribati and what can be done to help ease the burden for those who are living on the front lines. The documentary looks at the work IFAD is doing on one of the country’s most remote southern islands, Arorae. The Pacific islands of Kiribati were among the last places to be colonized by Man. Now rising sea levels mean they may be the first to be abandoned. On the edge of the world, a nation’s people wait. Read the full transcript and watch The President’s Dilemma!

Refer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)  report on Small island developing States and climate change or the World Bank Pacific Islands Brief: Kiribati. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has created new Centre of Excellence for Atoll Agriculture Research and Development in Kiribati. Check out The Rising Tide – Kiribati.