Lauren Beldi of ABC.net.au’s Pacific Beat reports that a grassroots group in Bougainville is scrambling to relocate the Carteret Islanders before rising sea levels swallow their land forever.
At only 1.5 metres above sea level at their highest point, the Carteret Islands are some of the first to succumb to the rising ocean tides.
The grassroots Tulele Peisa group, which means “sailing the waves on our own” in the local Halia language, is hoping to relocate more than half of the population by 2020.
They have secured land for new homes on the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, to the east of mainland Papua New Guinea.
Tulele Peisa formed in late 2006 after the Council of Elders on the islands decided to establish their own relocation program.
The group’s chief executive, Ursula Rakova, says the encroaching tides on the islands have a major impact on people’s health.
“We’re beginning to get more requests for people wanting to move because of the situation and the dire need for food,” she says.
Read the full article, which includes photography from Tulele Peisa, here.