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Issue and hypothesis: from an actual case of forced relocation to an hypothetical/prospective comparison
Approach and method
A historical extended case study
A geography of Banaba Island
From phosphate discovery to the resettlement of the Banabans
Discovery of phosphate
The decision to relocate the Banabans to Rabi Island
The resettlement action plan and the arrival of the Banabans
Initial stage of resettlement
Transition stage of resettlement
From mining narrative to climate-change narrative: a tentative/prospective comparison
Definitions, drivers, adaptation strategies and case studies
Populations affected and nature of the displacement
Direct and indirect causes of the relocation
Geography and the importance of land
Importance of homeland, identity and a sense of belonging
Culture, identity and integration
Funding and compensation
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Much recent attention has been given to likely future climate-induced population displacements in Oceania (ejf, 2009; Mimura et al., 2007), yet within the region, forced relocation is not a new phenomenon (Lieber, 1977). In the immediate aftermath of World War Two (wwii), at the time when millions of Europeans were on the move, one tiny island community in the central Pacific was also, reluctantly, undertaking a long-distance journey to a new island home.
At the end of 1945, 1,003 Banabans and Gilbertese from Banaba Island, formerly Ocean Island, were relocated to Fiji. Since 1900 the islanders’ home had been gradually degraded by extensive phosphate mining. With deep, high-quality deposits still remaining in Banaba, and with postconflict peace returning to the region, the British Phosphate Commissioners (bpc) were keen to recommence their mining activities in Banaba. As a result, the Banabans were prevented from returning to their island home.
Compared with the many hundreds of thou...
Pour citer cet article
Julia B. Edwards, « Phosphate mining and the relocation of the Banabans to northern Fiji in 1945: Lessons for climate change-forced displacement », Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes, 138-139 | 2014, 121-136.
Julia B. Edwards, « Phosphate mining and the relocation of the Banabans to northern Fiji in 1945: Lessons for climate change-forced displacement », Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes [En ligne], 138-139 | 2014, mis en ligne le 15 décembre 2017, consulté le 28 mars 2017. URL : http://jso.revues.org/7100 ; DOI : 10.4000/jso.7100 Haut de page