THE Kiribati HLP INITIATIVE
The 100,000 people of Kiribati are on the frontline of climate displacement. DS is working with the government and civil society to find the best ways of overcoming the displacement and other housing, land and property challenges facing this Pacific nation. DS has carried out field visits to work on the issue of climate change-induced displacement in Kiribati in both 2010 and 2011. In this section of the website we will be posting relevant publications, reports, film and other information on the many epic struggles facing the people of Kiribati.
Having interviewed scores of i-Kiribati citizens over the past four years, DS has yet to meet a person or family from any income-level who has not already thought deeply about their own personal displacement prospects, including migration plans, should it come to that. The people of Kiribati are already coming to grips with the idea that they may one day need to leave their cherished island homes. No one knows for certain, however, just at what point the country of Kiribati will become effectively uninhabitable; this could become the tragic fate of the country perhaps as early as 2050, or, all other things being equal, not occur for a century or more. Nonetheless, some internal displacement has already occurred.
After intensive investigations within the country over the past several years and thorough analyses of numerous reports addressing the effects on Kiribati from climate change, DS believes that the pursuit of a coordinated strategy that focuses simultaneously on improving the human rights and development prospects of all i-Kiribati people today (fight), combined with an approach that guarantees the right to new land in safe locations, whether within the country or elsewhere, for everyone forced to flee the country as sea levels rise to unsustainable levels (flight) will hold out the best hope for the people of Kiribati.
DS was the first organisation to visit the 6000 acre land site in Fiji recently purchased by the government of Kiribati, and also the only group that has sought to estimate the total amount of land required globally to ensure access to new land resources for the entire current and future climate displaced population of the planet; which lies somewhere between 12.5-50 million acres, or 0.14% of the Earth’s land surface (roughly the size of Costa Rica up to the size of Uganda). DS is now expanding our work on the land sector and intends to further advance the stubble for land across the globe.