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Technology transfer and climate science are getting a bigger role in the efforts of small island developing states (SIDS) in the Pacific region to brace themselves for rising sea levels caused by global warming.

At the forefront of this initiative, Kiribati stands out among the SIDS for its strong relocation strategy for its people, even as President Anote Tong is simultaneously exploring ways to capitalise on technology transfer that will help affected residents in fighting to keep their homes.

On the sidelines of the recent UN COP21 summit in Paris (30 November-12 December), Tong sat down with SciDev.Net to discuss his strategy. Tong says that he has been collaborating with foreign agencies, including those based in the Netherlands, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates, to find ways to localise existing technologies that could strengthen the Pacific’s defences. He calls on the other island states to work together and adopt a regional approach to technology transfer so they can learn from each other’s experiences.

Tong says this is part of his push towards enhancing the role of science in the region so that vulnerable nations can make “the right policy choices”.

This piece was produced by SciDev.Net’s South-East Asia & Pacific desk.