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BUSINESS NEWS
March 09, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Kiribati is considering buying land in Fiji as insurance policy for the future because of rising sea levels.

The BBC reports that Kiribati's President Anote Tong is in talks to buy 23 sq km of land on Vanua Levu.

The land is wanted for crops, to settle some Kiribati farmers and to extract earth for sea defences.

Some of Kiribati's 32 coral atolls are already disappearing beneath the ocean.

Fiji's Real Estate Agents Licensing Board chairman Colin Sibary told the BBC he was facilitating talks between Kiribati officials and a Fijian freeholder who owns the land on Vanua Levu.

"I've been working very hard on this for Kiribati for a year," Mr Sibary said.

"After the purchase they will formalise a development plan which will include various farms to produce vegetables, fruit and meat for export to Kiribati."

He said Kiribati officials also hoped to bring barges into Vanua Levu to take away landfill to help stop encroachment by the sea in Kiribati.

At most, he thought 500 Kiribati inhabitants might end up living on Vanua Levu, involved in farming and working on the landfill project.

"There is no thought of moving them all," he said.

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