Forced displacement last option, says Tuvalu PM

Forced displacement due to climate change is a last option, according to Tuvalu's Prime Minister.

Enele Sopoaga made the comment at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific office in Suva.

Tuvalu's low-lying atolls are considered among the countries most at risk from inundation by sea-level rise.

Mr Sopoaga stressed the need for Pacific Island nations to take a regional approach to addressing the threat of climate change.

The Fiji Times reports him saying Tuvalu is trying its best to protect its people so that they don't have to move or be forced to leave their islands.

He said that maintaining sovereignty, self-determination, cultural identity and territorial rights are of primary concern to Pacific Islanders in any form.

The damage and disappearance of communities and their rights due to climate change, Mr Sopoaga said, was a threat that required the region's utmost attention.

Photo: RNZI / Jamie Tahana Tuvalu's Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga.