Manus Island sinking at faster rate than Carterets

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The National, Wednesday 19th September 2012

AHUS Island of Manus faces similar effects of climate change as that facing the Carterets Islands in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville but at a faster rate, a community leader says.
Michael Kiromat, a member of the chief of elders from Ahus Island, said after observing the relocation programme by local non-governmental organisation Tulele Peisa to move people from the Carterets Island to Tinputz, that Ahus was half the size of Han, the biggest atoll of the six that make up the Carterets Islands.
Kiromat said the island was overpopulated, with more than 1,000 people, half the size of the population that lived in the six atolls that make up the Carterets.
He said the island had lost more than 100m of land to salt water over the past 20 years.
He said in 2008, the island lost five to six metres of land to king tides.
Kiromat said they had yet to come up with plans for relocation and their visit to the Carterets Islands was to learn from its relocation programme.
Nature Conservancy climate change coordinator Dr Gabriel Kulwaum said from his assessment after the visit to the Carterets that Ahus faced a far more threatening situation.
Kulwaum said he was particularly interested in the seaweed farming project and would like to introduce it to Ahus Island.
He said he was interested in the mini integrated forestry project undertaken by the relocated settlers of the Carterets now living in Woroav, Tinputz district.