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14 islands threatened by climate change

By: Katherine Butler on Jan. 10, 2018, 11:44 a.m.
boat on beach in Fiji

Photo: miguel sancheese/flickr

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Republic of Fiji

The people of Kiribati may want to rethink their plans to relocate to Fiji, as this 7,056-square-mile island nation in the South Pacific is pondering its own solutions to the challenges of climate change. While its larger islands include mountains that reach high as 4,000 feet above sea level, Fiji is still concerned about the effects of climate change. Indeed, some families are already moving further inland to escape rising sea levels.

Fiji is doing what it can to combat rising sea levels. Villagers are planting mangrove trees, but it may not be enough. According to the country and the World Bank, Fiji will have to spend $4.5 billion over the next decade to combat climate change, including transportation systems, education, house and health services.

As the World Health Organization reports, climate change is expected to influence extremes of too little and too much water in the form of severe storms and droughts. Further, such extreme weather is expected to make the island’s population of 909,000 more sensitive to climate-sensitive diseases, such as water-borne illnesses.