Rising sea levels an indisputable fact say Bishops

A statement from a meeting of Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania has expressed concern about “the indisputable fact of rising sea levels.”

“In some cases, entire regions and nations are under threat from the indisputable fact of rising sea levels,” the statement says.

“Examples from this part of the world include the Carteret Islands, Fead Islands, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Mortlock Islands, Nukumanu Islands, the Tokelau Islands, and Tuvalu.”

Last week fourteen Pacific Island nations met in Jaipur, in India to discuss rising sea levels.

Their message was clear – world leaders meeting in Paris in December must deliver on expectations of a historic deal to combat global warming.

The prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, says his country is having to consider buying land in New Zealand and Australia to grow food and prepare the population to migrate.

In their statement the Bishops say relocation is fraught with difficulty.

“While offers of relocation are generous in themselves, uplifting a people from one place and planting them in another is a ‘solution’ that is fraught with difficulty and at times even insensitivity, to cultural identity and traditions.”

The Bishops’ Executive Committee has been meeting in Noumea, New Caledonia.

It is made up of the  representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Australia, CEPAC (the Pacific Island nations), New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Their statement has been prepared  for the Conference of Peoples to be held in Paris in December.

Here is the full text of the Bishops’ statement


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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