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Development and Climate: The President's Dilemma| 10mins
Director: Various | Producer: IIED
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: United Kingdom
Subject Tags: culture, environment, kiribati, migration, oceania
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
Anote Tong is President of a small nation – a group of 33 atoll islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, half-way between Australia and Hawaii. Tong is faced with a dilemma the likes of which most government leaders couldn’t image. Scientists predict that within 30 to 50 years the nation he governs will have disappeared, covered over by rising seas resulting from global climate change. “For some time I did not sleep because I didn’t have a solution to a problem that there wasn’t a solution to,” says Tong. “What happens to us in the future? Do we disappear as a culture? So these are the issues that keep me awake.” "The President's Dilemma" explores some of the issues that keep Tong awake and put his nation’s 108,000 residents at risk. It takes a hard look at the impact that climate change is having on poor, low-lying island nations like Kiribati and what can be done to help ease the burden for those who are living on the front lines. “Already we have whole villages being washed out,” Tong says in the documentary. “There’s no running away from the reality that the seas are rising. There is no running away from that reality.”

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