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PNG’S CARTERET ATOLL FIRST CLIMATE VICTIM Some 3,000 "refugees’’ ready to relocate

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 31, 2008) - Papua New Guinea’s almost 3,000 Carteret Islanders are already preparing to be among the world’s first "climate refugees."

This news is from United Nations rights body, the Human Rights Council, which has been instituted to study climate change in affected countries in the world.

[PIR editor’s note: The Carterets, a low-lying atoll, is located 53 miles northeast of Bougainville, the semi-autonomous province of Papua New Guinea.]

The Carterets will be on the list after the UN human rights body appointed the organization to do a study in the Maldives and the atolls of Carterets Islands.

The body reported, "As seas expand from warming and from the run-off of melting land ice, higher and higher tides are eating away at tiny places like the Carterets, a sandy atoll of a half-dozen islands."

"Its people are getting ready to abandon the islands over the next several years, resettling on designated land on nearby Bougainville Island."

The Autonomous Bougainville Government is working on a plan to start the operations for saving the islanders.

A petition was presented to the ABG president Joseph Kabui outlining the problems facing the islanders.

But acting administrator Raymond Masono recently told the Post-Courier the PGK2 million [US$742,000] allocated for the saving operation of the islanders was not enough.

In December last year, delegations from nearly 190 countries agreed at a UN-sponsored conference in Bali, Indonesia, to adopt a blueprint for controlling global warming gases before the end of next year.

But negotiations have proved difficult with the United States and China.

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