The University of New Caledonia and the Pacific Islands University Research Network (PIURN) presented “Nations of Water”, a 52-minute film, to the public in Noumea. It addresses the issue of climate change. The Pacific island nations are directly impacted by the effects of climate change. The ambition of the film is to provoke reflection on the rights of populations and states in Oceania.
It answers questions such as: how to establish responsibilities? What legal status should be applied to the first climate refugees of the 21st century ?

What can the law do?

“The law can provide tools,” explains legal expert Géraldine Giraudeau. All this takes time, even though the crisis is urgent. And the issues are complex: “We know,” explains a scientist who collaborated on the film, “that a population displaced on the territory of another state ends up losing its identity and its language. The message is that we should not waste time and wait until the last moment to think and make decisions…

We are very vulnerable

This highly educational documentary is aimed at a wide audience. But in particular to law students around the world. It informs. It also moves. The testimonies of the participants in the debate organised at the University of Caledonia speak volumes: “It tells me a lot about our vulnerability,” explains one young woman, “and I think I’m not going to sit back and do nothing. I think I’m going to take action. Nations of water has been screened at New York University, Singapore, Valencia (Spain), Nantes (France), Paris-Saclay, Nashville (USA), Le Mans (France). It will be screened on 25 May at Inalco, the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, in Paris.