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Event Details

Sea-level Rise event report

Category: Sea-level Rise
Observation: 08.07.2013
Continent: Pacific ocean - west
Country: Solomon Islands
State: Province of Malaita
Area: Malaita outer island
Location:
Severity: Moderate
Event details
Malaita outer island communities say rising sea levels are a real and immediate threat and a resettlement plan is needed before it is too late. The people of Lord Howe and Luaniua have raised the issue of sea level rise with Solomon Islands prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo during his three-day visit to the low-lying atolls. Robert Iroga, the prime minister's press secretary, travelled with the prime minister to the islands. He has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat Luaniua is experiencing significant difficulties, including poor soil fertility and scarcity of land, because of its larger population. "They showed us where there was intrusion of salt water into the gardens, which is the livelihood of people," he said. 'The Maliata islands have little resources and they rely mostly on sea cucumbers or beche de mer... the gardens have become smaller while the population has also increased, so the farming has been changed." Mr Iroga says the government has an obligation to "move these people around" but it does not have immediate plans to relocate the island populations. "I wouldn't say it's imminent but it's something that the government is looking at in the medium to long-term," he said. Mr Iroga says in the meantime the government is committed to providing services to assist those affected, including increased shipping schedules and delivery of reasonably-priced food.
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