lørdag 16. oktober 2021

‘My father will go down like the captain of the Titanic’: life on the Pacific’s disappearing islands

Francis Tony is buried on an island that is shrinking. The sea breaks on a shoreline that is now less than five metres away from his simple gravesite on Toruar Island in the Solomon Sea. But his son Christopher Sese says the family have no plans to move Tony’s bones to a new gravesite.

“My father will be like the captain of the Titanic. When Toruar Island goes down, he will go down with it,” he says.

Toruar lies in the Saposa Islands group, south of Bougainville, in the east of Papua New Guinea. While the nearby Carteret Islands drew international attention a decade ago, with some saying residents had become the first climate refugees, there are a number of island groups around Papua New Guinea that are disappearing or becoming uninhabitable due to rising sea levels.