Mr Banicau said the village used to sit at least three metres above sea level when he was a child.
"Today the village is at the same level with the sea and when we sit in our houses, we just look straight out to sea which never used to happen.
"Before, we used to look down at the sea and I guess what's happening today is all part of climate change," Mr Banicau said.
There is a tendency in much of the world to view climate change as a slow and gradual process where the harmful effects will be able to prevented before they occur. What is happening in Kiribati is evidence to the contrary. Kiribati is "like the canary in the coal mine in terms of the dramatic impact of climate change on a whole civilization of people,” says Harvard University biological oceanographer James J. McCarthy. “They didn't cause the problem, but they are among the first to feel it."
The atolls of Kiribati rise 3-4 metres above mean sea level and are an average of a few hundred metres wide. These atolls are the home of nearly 90,000 Kiribati people with their distinct culture. Inundation and erosion destroy key areas of land, and storm surges contaminate the fresh groundwater lens which is vital for survival.
It is also the home of the village of Vunidogoloa, one of the fist villages in the world forced to relocate due to climate change.
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