The World’s First Climate Refugees

Featured Video Play Icon

A photographer documents the plight of people forced to flee island nations affected by climate change.

Some 60 million refugees in the world today are fleeing war, persecution and famine. But a new type of escapee is on the rise—one forced from his or her home by the changing forces of nature.

Photographer Vlad Sokhin has been documenting the frontline fight with climate change in his project, Warm Waters. So far, he has focused on the Pacific island nations of Oceania, where extreme weather is driving people from their ancestral lands.

Currently, some 3 million people are affected, and one of the world’s smallest nations—the nine-island atoll of Tuvalu—has already seen a fifth of its population of 11,000 seek refuge on larger islands.

While these people may be the world’s first wave of climate refugees, the current state of affairs suggests they won’t be the last.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Sangoiri / Shutterstock.com

We bring you perspectives from around the world. Help us to inform and educate. Your donation is tax-deductible. Join over 400 people to become a donor or you could choose to be a sponsor.

For more than 10 years, Fair Observer has been free, fair and independent. No billionaire owns us, no advertisers control us. We are a reader-supported nonprofit. Unlike many other publications, we keep our content free for readers regardless of where they live or whether they can afford to pay. We have no paywalls and no ads.

In the post-truth era of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, we publish a plurality of perspectives from around the world. Anyone can publish with us, but everyone goes through a rigorous editorial process. So, you get fact-checked, well-reasoned content instead of noise.

We publish 2,500+ voices from 90+ countries. We also conduct education and training programs on subjects ranging from digital media and journalism to writing and critical thinking. This doesn’t come cheap. Servers, editors, trainers and web developers cost money. Please consider supporting us on a regular basis as a recurring donor or a sustaining member.