Residents of the Solomon Islands’ smaller, more remote islands are witnessing the effects of climate change as rising seas erode their islands. A cemetery, once 50 meters away from the sea, now stands 1 meter from the shoreline, and it is estimated that most houses along the shore will be washed away by 2015.
Sea water has also affected soil salinity, and staple crops like taro are slowly dying off.
Some children have stopped going to school because there is no food to eat, and residents have also lost a source of income because their crops are not substantial enough for them to sell at market.
National project coordinator of Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (Pacc) Casper Supa stated, “Our people need to eat a balanced diet and nutritional food, but with effects of rising sea level, food crops like taro in Ontong Java are dying. The coastal people depending on swamp taro and local ferns are losing their source of food due to the salinity of the swamp.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to residents of the Solomon Islands. May we all act swiftly to halt such distressing conditions, for the protection of Solomon Islanders and all those who are vulnerable to climate change.
In a July 2009 interview published in the Irish Sunday Independent, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed her deep concern for the urgent plight of island nations due to encroaching sea levels.