Namdrik Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, looks to the future.
THIS ARTICLE IS EXCERPTED FROM VOLUME 1 OF THE MICRONESIA CHALLENGE NEWSLETTER, DECEMBER 2011. Click to view full issue.
Namdrik Atoll is located in the Ralik (‘Sunset’) chain of atolls in the western reaches of the Republic of Marshall Islands. The atoll has a population of around 500 men, women and children living on the main island, which has only 1.7 km² of land. The community relies on their natural resources for daily subsistence and small scale, commercial use.
The Namdrik story has inspired other atoll communities and leaders within the Marshall Islands. It has become the benchmark to inform the Marshall Islands climate change adaptation strategies (including the guidance for atoll communities, the national resource management strategy: ‘Reimaanlok’, Way forward), and further afield to other parts of the Pacific and even to the Caribbean.
Mayor of Namdrik: “When I heard about climate change and seal level rise – I was really scared – I thought it was going to happen tomorrow. And now I realize we can do something and we have some hope. If we don’t do what we are doing it takes your power away and you don’t know what to expect. We can do something to make our lives better for now and the future. We can show that we can do something and that we can survive 3-5 years from now. If we don’t do something we are not going to survive for long. This way we have a lot of lessons to show other parts of Micronesia and Melanesia. We want to get our lessons out to other places. For example, we demonstrate that you don’t have to follow the consumer model. I know that we all do to some extent but just showing that you don’t have to follow it totally.
Read full article at www.eldis.org. Photo courtesy MICS