As we are beginning to learn more about the #Covid_19 crisis and its connection to the environment around us, we can see more clearly than ever the devastating impact that environmental degradation has on #indigenous communities and their ways of life.
#Vanuatu is a tropical island which is particularly vulnerable to the effects of #climatechange such as rising sea levels, warming ocean temperatures and increasingly destructive cyclones, despite their largely self-sustaining lifestyles, and low emissions of #fossilfuels.
#Vanuatu is believed to be the most linguistically diverse country on earth, being home to over 100 #indigenous languages. The abundant resources have enabled many relatively isolated indigenous communities to thrive for centuries. https://minorityrights.org/vanuatu-indigenous-language/
Yet, as some coastal areas become uninhabitable due to the exacerbating effects of #climatechange, their local languages are under threat through their necessity to relocate and integrate into new communities.
Not only are these local #languages a vital aspect of the cultural identity of these communities, they are also necessary for the retention of #indigenous knowledge about the natural world.
The dozens of types of vines on #Malakula island, for example, have names in the local Na’ahai language and likely not in any other.