According to Vanuatu’s climate minister, climate change has made the move “inevitable”. Dealing with the effects of global warming is now more than just a huge challenge for Vanuatu’s 300,000 people, Minister Ralph Reginfano told a news conference. They live spread out in a group of islands between Australia and Fiji.
Coastal villages now designated by the local government should be transferred to higher ground within two years. In the long term, the intention is to vacate more places. Reginfano: “It will be a great challenge and tragedy for people who have to leave the land of their ancestors and move, but that is the reality.”
About 60 percent of Vanuatu’s population lives within one kilometer of the coast. In addition to sea level rise, Vanuatu is increasingly experiencing severe storms, according to the minister. In 2015, half of the population was hit by a tornado. It has become more and more intense in recent years. “Climate displacement of populations is the most important feature of our future. We need to be prepared and plan for it now,” Regenfano said.
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