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Climate Change

Carteret Atoll, also known as “The Carteret Island” is part of Papua New Guinea located 86 kilometres northeast of Bougainville in the South Pacific at 4°45’S, 155°24’E. Carteret Atoll incorporates a scattering of low lying islands in a horseshoe shape stretching around 30 kilometers in north-south direction, with a total land area of 0.6 square kilometers and a maximum elevation of 1.5 meters above sea level.

For more than 30 years, the inhabitants of the Carteret atolls have battled the Pacific ocean to stop salt water destroying their coconut palms and waves crashing over their houses. A decision was already made that will make their group of low-lying islands literally go down in history.

After 150 countries met in Montreal to discuss how to combat global warming and rising sea levels, the Carterets’ people became the first to be officially evacuated because of climate change.They will be the first island community in the world to undergo an organized relocation, in response to their island sinking. The people of the Carteret are being called the world’s first environmental refugees.

As per resettlement plan,10 families at a time will be moved to Bougainville, a larger island 100 kilometres away. Within two years the six Carterets, roughly the size of 80 football pitches and just 1.5 metres high, will be uninhabited and undefended. By 2015 they are likely to be completely submerged. The evacuation of the islands, named after the British navigator Philip Carteret, who discovered them in 1767, has been inevitable for more than 20 years.

KI.00 – Huene Island Divided;
View of Huene from Lolassa Island. Huene used to be one island but has now been bisected by the ocean

K3.00 – Upsurge through Barriers;
The islanders have fought more than 30 years battle, building seawalls and planting mangroves to protect their shorelines from the might of the Pacific.

K4.65 – Saltwater Intrusion;
High tides continue to wash away homes, destroy vegetable gardens and contaminate fresh water supplies.

K6.30 – Saltwater Claims;
Palms and trees are often very vulnerable to salt-water inundation and contamination. Those that meet the sea head on often stand the chance of survival.

K10.00 – Divided Atolls;
The atolls were onces used to be one island but now seen divided into separate atolls by the raising sea.

KI.00 -Dwindling Island;
An Island seen here dwindling gradually from the effects of raising sea.

K3.00 – Saltwater Claims;
Evidence of impact caused by raising sea

K4.65 – Storm Surge and Erosion;
Palms or trees that become exposed in storms usually give way by losing their grip in the little sand left at the end of the storm season.

K6.30 – Man made Barriers;
Barriers (wave crushers) built to defuse the impact of waves.

Title: Climate Change
Date of Issue: 18 March 2010
Country: Papua New Guinea
Denominations: KI.00, K3.00, K4.65, K6.30

Source: www.postpng.com.pg

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