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PRNGO’s propose a new definition for climate refugees
By Online Editor
2:28 pm GMT+12, 29/10/2009, Fiji

The Pacific Regional Alliance of NGO’s (PRNGOs) is proposing a new definition for people who will be forced out of their homeland due to the impact of climate change.

“Since there is no such thing as climate refugees in international agreements, we have come up with a new definition for our people, especially here in the Pacific and Maldives in the Indian Ocean, who are likely to be the first victims.

“We are proposing the term ‘forced climate migrants.’ It’s a legal term that we are advocating to be used in any international agreement that will look after climate refugees, said Fei Tevi of PRNGO’s

Mr Tevi told a panel discussion in Suva last night that the issue of resettlement of communities should now be taken seriously by regional governments.

“We skirt around it all the time and it’s a question of denial of the reality that climate change affects us all.

In response, Tuvalu’s climate change negotiator, Ambassador Enele Sopoaga said his country has no deliberate policy on migration.

“We have not committed ourselves to a migration scheme yet because we want to remain in our country. We will fight to keep our culture and our way of life.

“That is why we have taken the fight to save our islands to Copenhagen.

For a start, Tuvalu has committed to mitigating against impacts of climate change through building natural defences to protect our coral reefs and coastline.

‘We have also committed to the use of renewable energy by 2020, said Ambassador Sopoaga.

Tuvalu has submitted a new climate change agreement to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat for comments.

PACNEWS understands the proposed climate change agreement is an extension of the Kyoto Protocol.

UNFCCC”s Conference of the Parties (COP15) will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark from 05-18 December


SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS


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