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  • Writer's pictureMichael Roman

The value of land

In Kiribati, the health of land reflects the social well-being of individuals, families, and communities. As it is generationally passed through lines of kinship, the value of land is priceless. When an individual is birthed, traditionally, they are born on their land. Living on that land and starting families of their own on that land. When they die, their bodies return to the land to join the ancestors who what over it for future generations. Land cosmologically binds the past, present, and future for I-Kiribati; and though times have changed, and wealth has shifted to cash in many parts of the country, every I-Kiribati holds high esteem for ancestral land, which provides food, security, stability, and identity. Therefore, it is not surprising many I-Kiribati become upset with the idea of leaving ancestral lands because of changing environmental conditions.

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