”Mom, I am hungry!” The black child with tears in his eyes snuggled up in his mother’s arms. Obviously he knew that crying could not exchange food for him. The woman with the child stood under the coconut tree and looked out into the distance, hoping that the fishing boat that took her away could appear, and there was nothing but the endless sea in the distance.
Here is the Cattic Islands in the South Pacific. This place where human life has been in existence for generations, today is the end of the nightmare of the nightmare – soon, rising seas will flood the entire islands.
The Cattle Islands, off the coast of Papua New Guinea, consist of six atolls with an average elevation of only one meter; there is no bicycle, no generators, no factories, and a green island with no carbon emissions. However, due to climate change, the sea level is rising and the island is in danger of being swallowed at any time. Today, the first five families on the island have moved to the opposite island of Bougainville, blew the horn for the migration of 2,600 islanders.
“Climate refugees have been born.” Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert, a freelance photographer who went to the islands in 2006, told the International Herald Tribune that he was almost the first to be welcomed by this small island group. White people.
a group of precarious islands
Hibbert described him as the first island in 2006: “From afar, it is like an oasis in the blue ocean. There are no mountains, no tall buildings, no factories, no cars, only white. Beaches, thick coconut groves, laid-back islanders and children playing in the water.”
However, when the 2009 Ecologist website blogger and former Sunday Times reporter Dan Burke traveled to the Catolite Islands, he saw another scene: “The average elevation of coral islands is only 1 meter, the highest. It is only 1.7 meters away. When people stand at one end of the island, they can only see another raging wave that is swept in the direction of the center of the island.”
In the archipelago, coconut meat is the main food of the locals. However, Dan Burke saw on the island that many coconut trees were poisoned by the absorption of too much salt in the sea, leaving only bare wreckage, while others were swaying and no longer able to bear fruit. “The locals began to compete with the sea, madly picking up shells and building dams, but they still didn’t help, and their living area became smaller and smaller.”
Before Hibbert came to the islands, the Isle of Wiley did not exist.
Last Christmas, after a round of the most violent winds in history, dozens of houses in the Cattle Islands were flooded with water. The 2,600 inhabitants of the island who are helpless are determined to withdraw from their homes collectively…
In April of this year, the first five families on the island began to move to the opposite island of Bougainville. On this much larger island, their survival experience will provide a sample for the future relocation of the island. Today, five families are struggling to adapt to life on new islands, while their compatriots are waiting on the shrinking Cattic Islands – waiting for fishing boats and waiting for enough relocation funds.
5 black men who have left their homes
With the support of the Royal Geographical Society, Dan Burke became the second white man to come to the Cattle Islands and witnessed the relocation of the islanders who made him unforgettable.
On April 21 this year, the weather was very good.
In the roar of the engine, a white fishing boat slowly left the island of Cattle. Five black men stood on the side of the ship and waved goodbye, leaving behind them, the hometown destined to disappear and the islanders who came to bid farewell. They had to rush to the opposite port of Bougainville before darkness – the local islanders decided to accept 2,600 islanders to live with them after learning about Cattelit’s situation. In order to verify the feasibility of relocation and survival on the other side, five eligible families were selected and relocated first.
Under the bright sunshine, the men are dignified. They watched the Cattle Islands disappear into their horizons, or they couldn’t say a word or wait for them. It was a arduous task to settle down and build a house with the fastest speed. Cattlet picked up his wife and children; quickly adapted to a new life and quickly found a way to make a living.
”They patted the waterdrops that splashed on the body by the wind and the waves, and rushed to the open space with their hands empty. The people who came here to meet them with me did not say a word, followed behind them.” Dan· Burke described the air as “stationary” and the smell of sadness, which marked the beginning of the collective migration of the first climate refugees in the world.
A week later, the new home was completed: on a flat open space in the jungle, a single-storey wooden house with a garden appeared, and the sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes planted in the garden will become the main food for the five families when mature.
“I volunteered to be the first family to relocate because I hope that we can grow vegetables like taro, bananas, cassava and other vegetables on this new land. Because on Cattle Island, vegetables are no longer able to survive.” Charlie Speyer’s man told Dan. “I hope to grow some crops that are economically valuable like cocoa, so that we can guarantee our future.”
At present, because they can’t afford to rent a fishing boat, they can only sell the caught fish to the Bougainville Islanders on a banana boat, in exchange for some daily necessities and food.
”I really want my children and my wife, I don’t know if they are doing well.” The father confided to Dan Burke in English and Aboriginal words about his love. “This is a bold attempt, we have never been away from home for so long.”
Relocation is the choice between life and death
Later, Dan Burke returned to Cattle and stayed there for a week. “Sleeping in a house built of palm leaves, the chickens scream and sunset, this should be a paradise on earth. But whenever I think that this piece of paradise will disappear, I feel sad.” Dan Burke in his own This is written on the blog.
”We have almost no food, and no one wants to come to the island to buy my seafood.” “Before the sea came to my calf, it was already drowning my waist when the tide was over.” In Caterite’s short days, Dan Burke can hear such concerns everywhere. Seawater pollutes fruit trees, causing malaria, white bones can be seen everywhere, and living people are getting more and more jealous, and the leisurely self-sufficiency that has permeated in Cattlett has disappeared.
What is puzzling is that there is no government or official organization involved in the current relocation of the Cattle Islands. The only one responsible for the whole process is Tulele Peisa (meaning “sail on our own waves”), which was established in 2006. Under the disappointment of the authorities and the outside world’s delay in fulfilling their commitments, the Carterite Association for the Elderly has established this non-governmental, non-profit organization to assist in the relocation. All the fees for the “prepared relocation” in April this year came from the $5,500 raised by Tullee Peisa.
The head of the organization, Ursula Lakwa, was born in the Cattle Islands. “The tribes and elders have given me a difficult mission, so I have the responsibility and the obligation to take up this responsibility.” Ursula told the International Herald Tribune.
”This feeling of uncertainty is terrible, because you don’t know what will happen right now. Maybe the next time, the sea will drown you, your house, your family. For many people, the relocation may just be adapted. Changes in lifestyle, and for us, relocation is the choice between life and death.” Ursula said with emotion.
The future of 600 million climate refugees
At present, there are two problems that plague Usula. The first is capital, which is related to whether Cattlett residents can have enough funds to rebuild their homes after moving to a safe island. The second is whether countries can reach an agreement on climate issues as soon as possible. “I hope that the Copenhagen conference will bring a turn for our lives. Otherwise, within 20 years, the small islands in the Pacific will disappear one by one, and people will be forced to leave their homes where their ancestors lived. This is also a kind of deprivation of human rights.”
Photographer Hibbert has not been to Cattelite, but he has not given up on the fate of the archipelago, and rushed for it in the days that followed. “The frenzied energy consumption of the First World has made the islanders living in the Third World endure the dangers that they should not bear. They need more attention from all over the world,” said Hibbert.
The British “Guardian” has published such a set of numbers: by 2050 there will be 600 million “climate refugees” in the world, and 150 million “climate refugees” will be forced to leave their homes.
Earlier this month, the Government of Papua New Guinea issued a statement that the £1.4 million planned to finance the relocation of Cattle Island residents could not be reached this year due to errors in funding operations. At the same time, the Copenhagen conference was overshadowed by the political shadow.
Today, the fate of the 2,600 inhabitants of the Cattle Islands may be the epitome of the future 600 million climate refugees.