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Climate Change and Conflict Policy Brief  No.79 - June, 2020

Colonial Relocation and Implications for Future Climate Change Induced Migration and Displacement

While migration as an adaptation strategy appears to be a possible solution for Pacific communities vulnerable to the effects of climate change, without proper planning and preparation, and the involvement and consent of people, it could also potentially lead to forced displacement. This paper reflects on the relocation of the Gilbertese from the Southern Gilbert Islands to Phoenix Islands, and eventually to the Solomon Islands in the 1960s. The planning of the relocation, especially from the Phoenix Islands to the Solomon Islands, and the experiences of the people, provide important lessons that can be used to inform future climate change induced migration and displacement in the Pacific Islands.