- Associated Press - Thursday, March 8, 2012

TARAWA, KIRIBATI (AP) - Leaders of the Pacific nation of Kiribati a considering an unusual backup plan in case climate change wipes out their entire archipelago: They may move everyone to Fiji.

Kiribati President Anote Tong told The Associated Press Friday that his Cabinet this week endorsed a plan to buy nearly 6,000 acres on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu.

He says the fertile land could provide an insurance policy for Kiribati’s entire population of 103,000, though he hopes it will never be necessary for everyone to leave.

Kiribati straddles the equator near the international date line. It has found itself at the leading edge of the debate on climate change because many of its atolls rise just a few feet above sea level.

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