People on the frontline of climate change – Carteret Islanders speaking tour

A partnership between Tulele Peisa Incorporated (“Sailing the waves”), Friends of the Earth Australia and Oxfam Australia
local partners: Aid/watch, Mineral Policy Institute, Greens senator Kerry Nettle, Sisters of Mercy

The Carteret Islanders are amongst the world’s first ‘climate refugees’. An entire cultural group is facing relocation due to the impacts of climate change. The islanders have fought for more than twenty years against the rising ocean, building sea walls and planting mangroves. However, storm surges and high tides continue to wash away homes, destroy vegetable gardens, and contaminate fresh water supplies. On November 24, 2005, the Papua New Guinean government authorised the evacuation of the islands, 10 families at a time, to Bougainville. The evacuation started in early 2007 and this could continue up until 2020, depending on how inhabited the islands remain. However, it has also been estimated that by 2015, the Carteret Islands could be largely submerged and entirely uninhabitable.
This situation is but one example of the impacts being felt in our region. It highlights the need for rich countries like Australia to stop harming, by significantly reducing their emissions, and start helping, by supporting adaptation and resilience building in climate affected communities.

The tour aims to:

-Raise awareness amongst key stakeholders in Australian society about the plight of Carteret Islanders and others to the impacts of climate change
-Raise awareness of, and resources for, the culturally sensitive relocation of the Carteret Islanders to mainland Bougainville.
-Raise awareness in Australia of the reality of human displacement due to climate change and the need to respond accordingly in terms of appropriate mitigation (reducing our greenhouse gas emissions) and support for adaptation measures in affected communities.

Public Forum : Wednesday September 19th

Venue :TBC
Contact: Cam Walker