In June 2008, Kiribati officials asked Australia and New Zealand to accept Kiribati citizens as permanent refugees. Kiribati is expected to be the first country in which all land territory disappears due to global climate change. In June 2008, the Kiribati president Anote Tong said that the country has reached “the point of no return”; he added: “To plan for the day when you no longer have a country is indeed painful but I think we have to do that.”
As sea levels continue to rise, the government of Kiribati is negotiating a deal with Fiji to evacuate the entire population to areas of Fiji that the Kiribati government would buy. The area of Fiji proposed for resettlement is the second largest Fijian island of Vanua Levu. The mass migration is expected to include younger, skilled workers first, and then the rest of the population would follow over a period of years.