12 Dec Last days in the Carteret Islands? Climate change, livelihoods and migration on coral atolls
Last days in the Carteret Islands? Climate change, livelihoods and migration on coral atolls
Asia Pacific Viewpoint
Vol (No), pp
It is widely assumed that the impacts of climate change on atolls will render them uninhabitable. The Carteret Islands, an iconic Pacific atoll, is experiencing physical changes, documented in the media, the outcome of multiple factors, alongside critical economic livelihood problems. Its population has sought to resettle on nearby Bougainville Island, but land has not become available. The search for migration opportunities parallels trends on coral atolls elsewhere where survival strategies have involved regional and international ties, with cultures of migration, focused on more distant international destinations. Carteret Islanders have not been able to mobilise similar relationships. For many atolls and atoll states, migration has increasingly become a livelihood strategy, irrespective of climate change. That is likely to become even more true in the future, but the outcome will be dependent on policies and practices in metropolitan destination states.