The villagers of Vunidogoloa in Cakaudrove District, on the northern Fijian island of Vanua Levu, have started to relocate to new homes because of rising sea levels. The village is the first to be relocated under Fiji’s climate change adaptation program, according The Fiji Times.
The village is moving because climate change has already “resulted in seawater flowing into the village compound during high tide”. The government has spent $879,000 on the village relocation, building 30 new houses, fish ponds and copra drier, farms and other projects at the site of the new village. The Fijian Fisheries Department and the Agriculture ministry will help the relocated villagers with farming practices at the new site.
In an ominous sign of things to come, Vunidogoloa is not the only Fijian village under threat from rising sea levels, and other villages in the north are also being considered for relocation under the climate change program.
The latest report (Sept 2013) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that global sea levels could rise by 82 cm by late this century. So far, the worst case projection is that sea levels could rise by 98cm by 2100.