350 Australia would like to congratulate the people of the Torres Strait Islands for securing a government commitment to provide $25 million for sea walls and other climate adaptation needs. This comes after years of advocacy, with the impacts of the climate crisis already being felt in the region, which is home to some of the most at-risk islands on Earth.
On Sunday, the Australian and Queensland governments made a commitment to resource new sea walls, repair jetties and other infrastructure needs of the Islands as the impacts of climate change threaten one of the oldest living cultures in the world. Advancing seas are already threatening homes, as well as damaging burial grounds and sacred cultural sites.
Many Islanders are worried that their islands could quite literally disappear in their lifetimes without urgent action, with severe impacts on their ability to practice their law and culture. The people of the Torres Strait are standing up and fighting hard to save their homes, their culture and the amazing natural values of this incredible region.
350 Australia has been working with the Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council on the Our Islands Our Home campaign asking for, in part, substantial investment in the climate adaptation needs of the Islands. In May this year, eight Torres Strait Islanders took the Australian Government to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, claiming the government had harmed their human rights due to inaction on climate change.
We commend the Australian and Queensland governments for starting the required investment in climate adaptation. We will continue to stand in solidarity with the people of the Torres Strait Islands as their case is considered by the UN, and they continue to advocate for much more substantial national efforts to address the climate crisis.
You can read more about this announcement here.
Find out more about how you can support the Our Islands Our Home campaign here.