Sam* is a village chief from a Mayan community in southern Belize, and a repository of knowledge. Sam knows how many centuries his ancestors have been farming his land, which families own which plots and how to locate the border between his community and the nearby Sarstoon Temash National Park.
This post follows up on episode 5 of the MissionCreep podcast.
You may remember hearing about a family of four from Tuvalu who fled their country, moved to New Zealand and applied for protected status or residency last year. They claimed that if they were returned to Tuvalu, their life would be endangered and they’d be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The family stated that they had no land or relatives in Tuvalu, that the father could not find a job there and that they had a lack of access to drinking water. The difference between this and many other asylum cases is that the main perpetrator wasn’t other people or groups; it was climate change and the resulting sea level rise.