Our first, & not our last, climate change refugee at NZ’s barricade

A sobering and all too accurate commentary on the implications of climate change, the issue of refugees, and the problem with barricades.

First We Take Manhattan

In July of this year, the Supreme Court denied the application of Ioana Teitiota from Kiribati to be granted asylum in Aotearoa New Zealand as a climate change refugee. In its ruling, the Supreme Court said he could not be granted asylum as he was not in danger of harm because Kiribati were taking steps to protect their citizens from the affects of climate change.

Those strategies are a National Environmental Management Strategy that includes “vulnerability assessment and coastal zone management,” identifying gaps in their strategy, accepting development that is environmentally sustainable. Lately they have installed a lot of solar panels. They are also, as a last resort, encouraging planned emigration of their population and raising their qualifications so Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia want their population as skilled migrants.

None of these strategies will stop Kiribati being swamped by rising seas. They are already struggling to grow food crops…

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Author: Makere

A transplanted New Zealand Scots/Maori academic/grandmother/random singer and sometime activist, my life is shaped by a deep conviction of the necessity for active critical engagement in the multi-faceted global and local crises of being and survival of species that confront us in the 21st century, the urgency of re-visioning the meaning of thriving together, and the contribution of Indigenous knowledge systems to a truly sustainable and just global society.

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