A former president of Kiribati Sir Ieremia Tabai says the case of a family who failed to get climate refugee status in New Zealand has shone a spotlight on the predicament of Kiribati.
Ioane Teitiota has been deported from New Zealand and his wife and three New Zealand born children are likely to leave next week.
The government MP says it will be hard for the family to adapt to Kiribati where life is hard not simply because of climate change.
"I know they're going to suffer a lot, because for years the kids are used to a better life, the kids are going to find it particularly unwelcoming in that sense."
Sir Ieremia says he is working to develop the country and solve issues like overpopulation so people don't have to leave.
"As the question of whether we think it's time to go now, I don't think so. We want to fight it out and to ensure that we don't have to leave this place."
Sir Ieremia says the family will be welcomed by the community but the case has not raised much local interest as people are more concerned with their daily struggles.