Monday, 16 March 2009 5:13 AM

One Islander's Climate Change Experience

Tomasi Daunivucu, a Fijian living in a village that sits on north-east edge of Viti Levu, Fiji's main island, reveals the signs of climate change taking place in his village.

An article by Fred Wesley published by the Fiji Times Online reveals Mr. Daunivucu's experience.

According to the article, Mr. Daunivucu, like every member of the 29 households in this village by the sea, 'has noticed mother nature slowly eat away chunks of village land', experiencing how over the years, the sea has spread inland.

To the writer, he points out the dead remains of coconut tree trunks.

"See those trunks ... the beach started there," he says.

The roots of the dead tree trunks are under water, and the sea has spread about five metres inland at low tide. A recent spell of bad weather saw waves washing into the
village hall about 10 metres further inland.

"We've noticed the waves moving inland over the years," he says.

"It is a concern because it's eating away at our land and recent bad weather made us realise the impact it will have on our homes in the future. Waves were crashing onto some of our homes."


According to the article, the villagers of Saioko depend on copra and the sea to churn out a living.

Mr. Daunivucu's experience is not just his but it is the reality being experienced by many inhabitants of not only the region, but all other small nations around the world at risk of non-existence from the effects of climate change.

The article goes on to mention all other possible effects of climate change and whether Mr. Daunivucu understands scientific explanations for the changes in the weather and his surroundings.

The reality is, many inhabitants of these nations at risk may not know any scientific explanation for the changes happening around them, or even really know what global warming means.
What they do know is what they see with their very own eyes and witness all around them, the shifting of the sea inland just being one of the many signs. And they are also already feeling the effects with the loss of some fresh waters sources on atolls as the sea water has seeped into these sources, and not to mention the loss of soil fertility and the sea water seeps in.

It must indeed be a frightening experience to see the home you've known all your life slowly disappear around you and not understand why.

To read the full article by Fred Wesley, follow the link provided below.