Solomon Islands: Exposed islands being lost and drowning due to rising sea levels.
The latest news from the Solomon Islands is that rising sea levels and changes in weather patterns are slowly drowning Redman Island in Choiseul province and the sea eating away chunks of land.
The same kind of situation is occurring in many other parts of the Solomon Islands but especially in the outer Reef Islands off the coast of Malaita Province.
In 2016, a report published by Reuters told of six islands that had large swaths of land washed into the sea and on two of those, entire villages were destroyed and people forced to relocate.
The submerged islands were part of the Solomon Island’s archipelago that over the last two decades had seen annual sea levels rise as much as 10mm (0.4in)..
The missing islands, ranged in size from 1 to 5 hectares.
One was Nuatambu island, home to 25 families, which lost 11 houses and half its inhabitable area since 2011.
The Solomon Islands a nation made up of hundreds of islands and with a population of about 640,000, lies about 1,000 miles north-east of Australia and the questions about climate change are increasingly focusing the mind of the incumbent DCGA administration with issues of food security, finance and adaption measures becoming ever more serious.
All countries are affected by global warming. But the impacts tend to fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable, as well as those least responsible for the problem, says the IPCC,
Climate change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are – rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call ‘global challenges,’ which require global solidarity.” – Ban Ki-moon
Despite the regular and scientifically sound warnings about climate change there are some international leaders failing to exercise the leadership and solidarity encapsulated by Ban Ki –moon and I am tempted to use the well known expression they are “Fiddling while Rome burns.” at the expense of the loss of land, homes, crops and livelihoods of many in the Solomon Islands, as well as similar happenings in neighbouring small Pacific states.
“Fiddled while Rome burned.” An expression with double meaning and can be related to ineffectual leaders at a time of crisis.