Kiribati to Purchase Fiji Land as “Climate Change Insurance”

15 March 2012: The UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) has announced that the Kiribati Cabinet has recently agreed to purchase land in neighboring Fiji, as “climate change insurance” for its population. The decision comes as Kiribati President Anote Tong renews calls to the international community to address the effects of climate change threatening to submerge many of Kiribati's low-lying atolls.

According to UN/ISDR, Kiribati is currently negotiating the purchase of 6,000 acres of land on Viti Levu, Fiji's main islands. Tong underscored that the initiative will apply to a younger generation, for whom moving will be a “matter of survival,” and that Kiribati may become uninhabitable by the 2050s due to rising sea levels and salination provoked by climate change. [UN/ISDR Press Release]