Environment and Ecology Research Vol. 3(4), pp. 96 - 107
DOI: 10.13189/eer.2015.030404
Reprint (PDF) (1966Kb)

The Pacific Solution – A Catastrophe for the Pacific!?

Eberhard Weber *
The University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Suva, Fiji Islands


Climate change and related sea-level rise has caused fears that many people in the Pacific Islands might become homeless. However it is difficult to say who is more afraid: politicians of countries that are potential destinations of environmental refugees or affected people, who realize that it is not at all a pleasure to lose the home, and that it might be even a bigger nightmare to become a refugee. While in low-lying Pacific Island countries (PICs) debates and discourses about people's future flare up the fear of becoming homeless and refugees is worrying many. It seems that governments whose countries could become preferred destinations of climate change refugees are concerned how to keep them away from reaching safe harbors. In 2001 the Australian Government started its Pacific Solution, a policy that should prevent aliens arriving by boat in Australia to seek the status of refugees. The Australian Government has established detention centers on the Pacific Islands of Manus (PNG) and Nauru to process asylum seekers outside Australian territory. In 2013 a new element was added to the Pacific Solution: refugees arriving on boats will be processed and settled in PNG or Nauru (or countries other than Australia), if found to be genuine refugees. Others can be detained for unspecified time. Migrants' well-being is not only based on material conditions, but also reflects on emotional ones. The inhumane treatment of refugees increases angst amongst those who are threatened to lose their homes as a result of climate change and depend on support from other countries.

Pacific Islands, Climate Change, Refugees, Forced Migration, Australia

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Eberhard Weber , "The Pacific Solution – A Catastrophe for the Pacific!?," Environment and Ecology Research, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 96 - 107, 2015. DOI: 10.13189/eer.2015.030404.

(b). APA Format:
Eberhard Weber (2015). The Pacific Solution – A Catastrophe for the Pacific!?. Environment and Ecology Research, 3(4), 96 - 107. DOI: 10.13189/eer.2015.030404.