Portraits of Resilience

The Encroaching Sea

Encroaching seas in the far Pacific are filling the wells of the Marshall Islands. Waves threaten to cut one sliver of an island in two. “It’s getting worse,” says Kaminaga Kaminaga, the tiny nation’s climate change coordinator.
Encroaching seas in the far Pacific are filling the wells of the Marshall Islands. Waves threaten to cut one sliver of an island in two. “It’s getting worse,” says Kaminaga Kaminaga, the tiny nation’s climate change coordinator.
 
The rising ocean raises questions too: What happens if the 61,000 Marshallese must abandon their low-lying atoll? Would they still be a nation? Would they still have a UN seat? Would they control of their old fisheries and their undersea minerals? Where would they live, and how would they make a living? Who, precisely, would they and their children become?
 
From 7,000 miles away, the people of the Marshall Islands just hope 
a conclusion will come one day to the ongoing climate change 
negotiations.
 
- Gilson Ishiquro