19 Apr 2013

Climate change public meeting exposes fears for future in Kiribati

6:39 pm on 19 April 2013

A public meeting held in Kiribati on Friday to address the nations climate change concerns has highlighted people's fears about their country's future, according to one of its panelists.

The meeting, led by the President Anote Tong and broadcast nationally, involved a panel of representatives from government, churches, businesses and youth and included questions from the general public.

Bishop Paul Mea was on the panel, and he says the main concern was the impact rising sea levels will have on Kiribati and whether people will have to leave their homeland.

He says the meeting showed public supports for the government's attempts to convince larger countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions to help smaller island nations like Kiribati survive.

"They can't do anything about it because they are not the ones who caused the situation. They are only hoping that those countries change their minds that's their only hope. But by themselves they can't do anything to remedy the situation."

Bishop Paul Mea says he considers the meeting to have been a success, but he is unsure whether it will be repeated.