Pacific not facing up to resettlement: expert

Fragile: Papua New Guinea's Carteret atoll, seen from space. [NASA]
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Fragile: Papua New Guinea's Carteret atoll, seen from space. [NASA]

Last Updated: Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:03:00 +1000

An Australian displacement authority says governments in the Pacific are reluctant to admit there is any need to resettle populations as sea levels rise.

Earlier this week, the Kiribati President Anote Tong announced his government would purchase land in Fiji for agriculture, but said there are no plans to relocate people there.

Scott Leckie, director of Displacement Solutions Australia, said most families have a contingency plan because their governments do not have such plans.

His group seeks to help people who have been displaced by climate change, conflict, forced eviction, natural disaster and other circumstances beyond their control.

Mr Leckie said: "There's still a lot of room for adaptation and measures to be undertaken domestically to make resettlement something that can be delayed for a very long period of time, perhaps prevented entirely.

"That would certainly be the goal and objective."

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