The Coalition of Atoll Nations on Climate Change has unveiled “Pacific Rising,” a new initiative being billed as a “Marshall Plan” for surviving climate change.
Leaders of five island nations that make up the Coalition of Atoll Nations on Climate Change (CANCC) announced on Wednesday the unveiling of “Pacific Rising” — an initiative they hope will secure the survival of the their nations’ people. “Pacific Rising” is being compared to the famous “Marshall Plan” that helped Europe survive the aftermath of World War II.
“Pacific Rising” is set to help the people of Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands (ironically enough), Tokelau, and Tuvalu and is designed “to stop a refugee crisis and save the lives and culture of their people before the full weight of the disaster strikes.” These island nations are looking at rising sea levels which will swamp them by the middle of the next century, and storms with increased severity and frequency that are taking a larger and larger toll.
Subsequently, “Pacific Rising” will work on three fronts “to preserve lives, livelihoods, and culture”:
- Developing technology, including investment in renewable energy, Internet access, and as-yet undefined systems for raising coastal elevation and shoreline protection
- Fostering enterprise, by building partnerships for sustainable business initiatives at local and national levels in order to bolster the resilience of island economies in transition
- Preserving culture through education, training, health and maintaining cultural heritage amid a possible mass migration of people
With climate negotiations at the United Nations COP21 climate talks drawing to a close, a climate deal is vital — not just for the world as a whole, but especially for those low-lying island nations that are set to take the brunt of climate change before many industrialized nations are aware of it.
Image Credit: The Marshall Islands – Majuro – Laura Beach, via Stefan Lins, Flickr
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