5 Sep 2011

UN chief gets first hand climate change experience in Kiribati

6:52 pm on 5 September 2011

The United Nations Secretary-General has heard how some children in Kiribati fear going to sleep at night because of anxiety over climate change.

Ban Ki-moon is on a two-day stay in the low lying country which has been vocal internationally about its plight.

Sally Round reports.

"The UN chief says he wanted to experience the front line of climate change. Ban Ki-Moon's trip included a visit to the two hundred strong community of Beki Ni Koora which has had to move gradually inland and build to increasingly higher levels to escape rising seas. He also visited the highest point of Tarawa, just three and a half metres above sea level which he said showed him just how vulnerable Kiribati is. Ban Ki-moon saw how one community had to abandon its drinking wells because of salinated water and also suffered inedible root crops and lost coconut trees. The Secretary-General has told Kiribati president Anote Tong he'll keep pressing for progress on addressing climate change until there are results."