20 Feb 2006

Campaigner calls for all the people of Tuvalu to move to Fiji island

7:28 am on 20 February 2006

An Australian campaigner is calling for all of Tuvalu's population to move to a Fijian island.

Salinity and rising sea levels caused by climate change are expected to make Tuvalu uninhabitable within 50 years, leaving the 9,000-strong population with nowhere to live.

Scientist, Don Kennedy, who is Tuvaluan himself, says a move is need to ensure the nation's culture survives.

Mr Kennedy, told a climate refugee forum in Melbourne that he is negotiating with Tuvalu's Prime Minister, Maatia Toafa, to move his people to the Fijian island of Kioa.

The Fiji island is higher above sea level than Tuvalu, is owned by the Vaitupu people of the Tuvaluan group.

He said a mass relocation would ensure the Tuvaluan language and culture is preserved instead of being scattered to the four corners of the earth.