3 Sep 2013

Call for legal strategy for victims of sea level rise in Pacific

7:30 pm on 3 September 2013

The Pacific Conference of Churches says it is critical Pacific leaders develop a strategy for the relocation of victims of sea level rise.

The impacts of climate change are set to be the key topic of the Pacific Islands Forum annual summit which is just underway in Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

The PCC general secretary, Reverend Francois Pihaatae, says to date on climate change there has been nothing but talk.

He says the leaders need to ensure action is taken and one of the first things is for proper legal pathways to be created for those that may be forced to relocate.

"There is a need to address this immigration aspect and how to deal with these people, to move to either Australia or Fiji or New Zealand and their status too, and their dignity, culture and all of those things need to be addressed. If they go to Australia do they become Australian citizens or do the remain Tuvaluan or i-Kiribati."