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Higher ground

Biden announces relocation funding for native tribes impacted by climate change

The Biden Administration has announced that it plans to give $135 million to 11 native tribes to help them relocate due to the effects of climate change. Two tribes in Alaska and one in Washington are being given $25 million because of their need to move to higher elevations amid rising sea levels, and another eight tribes are receiving $5 million each to create plans for relocation, reports The New York Times

The funding will be provided by the Department of the Interior and marks a new understanding of some of the irreversible outcomes of climate change. "There are tribal communities at risk of being washed away," said Biden, adding that the funding can help, "move, in some cases, their entire communities back to safer ground." 

The announcement came at the Tribal Nations Summit held in the White House on Wednesday. The summit was established to give tribal leaders "an opportunity to engage directly with senior administration officials," the White House said in press release.

Relocation has been a growing discussion all over the world as the climate crisis intensifies. One of the main themes of the COP27 climate summit was "loss and damage," where developing nations called on developed nations to pay for the irreparable climate damage they have been experiencing. 

"Helping these communities move to safety on their homelands is one of the most important climate-related investments we could make in Indian Country," said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.