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    Population Boom Aggravates Climate Change Impacts in a South Pacific Nation

    By Erin Cassidy, AccuWeather staff writer
    June 15, 2013, 4:43:13 AM EDT

    Climate change poses a serious long-term threat for low-lying island nations such as Kiribati -- barely 6 feet above sea level -- in the South Pacific, where sea-level rise is happening at a faster rate than the global average.

    Kiribati President Anote Tong has grimly predicted his country will likely become uninhabitable in 30 to 60 years because of inundation and contamination of its freshwater supplies.


    But for Kiribati, encroaching seas are only part of the problem.

    A population boom -- driven by skepticism of family planning -- is putting more pressure on the nation's already scarce resources, mainly water.

    South Tarawa's population density of more than 3,000 per square kilometer is comparable to Los Angeles or parts of London. Officials fear population numbers could double to more than 100,000 by 2030 unless the birth rate and internal migration slow.

    The government has asked the highly influential Christian Church to help curb growth by encouraging members to use birth control.

    The government is looking at radical options for feeding and housing its people, including negotiating to buy land on nearby Fiji (David Gray, Reuters, June 13).

    Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. 202-628-6500. E&E Publishing is the leading source for comprehensive, daily coverage of environmental and energy issues.

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