Tuvalu News

Kioa relocation not priority: Tuvalu PM

Tuesday February 21, 2006

Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, Maatia Toafa says his government does not regard rising sea levels as such a threat that the entire population would need to be evacuated.

Radio New Zealand reports that this comes after a Melbourne-based campaigner, Don Kennedy, called for all the people on Tuvalu to be moved to the Fiji island of Kioa.

Kennedy says this is needed because within 30 years Tuvalu may become uninhabitable due to climate change and rising sea levels.

Toafa says his government is considering the idea of moving Tuvaluans to Kioa, but does not regard this as a priority.

"The thinking behind it is we might buy some land or try to own land maybe in Australia or New Zealand. I think these are the kind of issues at the moment, because we do not believe that Tuvalu will submerge, eventually, but, I think we’re fighting our case on the impact of climate change."

Toafa added that if Tuvaluans were to move to Kioa, they would need funding to develop the island.


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