Stories from Tamana: an island at the forefront of climate change

Posted September 23, 2021

For the people of Tamana island, in Kiribati, climate change is already an existential reality.

Increasing extreme weather events, saltwater intrusion, and droughts affect food security on low-lying atolls. Communities cannot grow crops and depend increasingly on low nutritional imports as alternatives causing some of the highest non-communicable disease (NDC) rates in the world and 1 in 3 children to suffer from stunting.

The Climate Security in the Pacific project, funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund, is working with the government and local communities to address climate-related food security issues, especially in two of the most vulnerable islands: Tamana and Marakei.

To resolve these issues proactively, the project seeks to resolve conflicts over natural resources that will arise soon due to the impact of climate change.

Meeting with local communities in Tamana is essential to build trust and ensure the local ownership of the project. This will enable them to understand the project and equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in conversations on climate security effectively.

Through a participatory process, conducted with the Office of the President and the Kiribati Network Expert Group (KNEG) for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, the project is designing and implementing urgent climate resilience initiatives at the community level.