by Fabrizio Bozzato
Climate change induced sea level rise now threatens to redraw the physical geographical map of the world, radically altering coastlines and creating new ocean areas. Not since the submersion of the legendary Atlantis has the world witnessed the actual physical disappearance of a state. The extreme vulnerability of low-lying coastal areas and islands to sea encroachment is now notorious, with the most serious threat being to the continued viability and actual existence of island states such as Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. Among the likely scenarios for some of these vanishing islands countries in the course of the next century, there is the possibility that, by relocating their populations on artificial islands, they could continue having some sort of status analogous to statehood even if they were to lose all territory. As some political leaders in the Pacific Islands Region have already suggested, such man-made structures could become alternative human habitats for landless island peoples. This paper argues that the idea of using artificial islands as new national territories and / or futuristic human habitats is noteworthy, and yet to be taken under consideration by both the scientific and political communities.