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The saltwater people of Solomon Islands are often portrayed to be at the frontline of climate change. In media, policy, and development discourses, the erosion and abandonment of the small, man-made islands along the coast of Malaita is attributed to climate change induced sea-level rise. This paper investigates this sinking islands narrative, and argues that a narrow focus on the projected impacts of climate change distracts attention and resources from more pressing environmental and development problems that are threatening rural livelihoods.

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