Tidal threats: Displacement and resiliency in Papua New Guinea

Rising sea levels and exceptionally high tides are displacing communities across Papua New Guinea, disproportionately affecting women. Tulele Peisa, a women-led relocation organization, is setting an example for climate migration efforts around the world.

King tides flood homes and entire villages, bringing a destructive force that not only damages property, but also inundates water sources and destroys arable land.
Due to rising sea levels and tidal flooding, coastal communities have elevated their homes as a protective measure.
It’s our home, it will be difficult to leave but we must. We’re not safe here anymore. When the King Tide comes, water floods our home. If there is a cyclone or a tsunami, we’ll be swept away [...] We understand that the sea levels are rising as a result of the pollution produced by rich industrialized countries. Maybe those rich countries should help us now.
Seline Netoi
Seline Netoi, a resident of Huene Island, in an interview for Caritas.org
Residents of low-lying islands face the inevitable decision of abandoning their homes and relocating to higher ground.
Apart from the main issue of having our homes along the coasts washed away by rising sea levels, we are also victims to something more greater and that is loss of identity [...] When communities are forced to move from their homes, it means they lose their way of life, practiced for generations over the years — cultures and traditions, but most importantly we lose our land. Land in Papua New Guinea is very important.
Vinzealhar Ainjo Nen
Youth Representative for Climate Change, Sustainable Ocean Alliance PNG
A boat arrives off the south coast of Buka Island, Bougainville, the destination for 12 Carteret families fleeing food shortages in an unsuccessful resettlement effort in 1997.
The people of the Carterets are victims of a crisis they have not caused, as they emit the least or nil emissions of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
Ursula Rakova
Executive Director, Tulele Peisa
The Carteret Atoll's highest elevation is only 1.6 meters above sea level.
When our government doesn’t help, it is advisable to reach for help outside through grants and other sources of international funding.
Vinzealhar Ainjo Nen
Youth Representative for Climate Change, Sustainable Ocean Alliance PNG

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