Island nation fighting sea level rise

Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:28 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Australia says it will give $1.5 million to rehabilitate 25 miles of roads in the island nation of Kiribati undermined by rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

The repairs are essential if the Pacific Ocean island nation is to survive the impact of climate change, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced Monday.

Many scientists believe the entire land area of Kiribati, whose highest point is now just 10 feet above sea level, will disappear with ongoing sea level rise caused by global warming.

"Kiribati is at the front line of climate change," Carr said. "Unless action is taken, Kiribati will be uninhabitable by 2030 as a result of coastal erosion, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion into drinking water."

In June 2008, Kiribati asked Australia and New Zealand to allow its citizens to move to those countries as permanent refugees.

Australia's funding would be delivered over three years in partnership with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending News
Test predicts teen risk factor for cardiovascular disease
Gene therapy effective against form of inherited vision loss
Foot of new human ancestor, Homo naledi, resembles our own
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr
Study: European austerity to blame for rise in male suicide