The tiny nation of Tuvalu is in danger of disappearing into sea, according to a September 17 report in UNEARTH News. The Pacific island state, which is home to 11,000 residents, has been hard-hit by changing weather patterns that have led to rising sea levels and drought conditions in the country.
“Climate change is putting a lot of pressure on infrastructure…Pacific island states like Vanuatu and Tuvalu can no longer maintain themselves and will not survive without adequate concepts to change the current state,” Jean-Philippe Chauzy, Head of Media and Communication of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned in the report.
The Tuvalese government has enacted a vigorous domestic policy to encourage Tuvalu’s citizens to do their part to help climate change.
“I think we have to say what we are doing to our own people. We must start with our own people and then to the world,” Tuvalu’s Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga said recently at meeting of small island states.
Yet according to Sopoaga, more developed nations must also do their part. “At the same time we must seek partnership from developed nations and development seeking for urgent actions,” the Prime Minister stressed.
At this year’s United Nations General Assembly, which kicked off officially on September 17, Deputy Prime Minister Vete Sakaio plans to plead for more support from developed countries to stop the rising waters from taking over the island.
His impassioned speech is expected to echo Sopoaga’s own, when he took his place in front of the General Assembly in 2003. “We live in constant fear of the adverse impacts of climate change,” Sopoanga said to the gathered world leaders. “For a coral atoll nation, sea level rise and more severe weather events loom as a growing threat to our entire population. The threat is real and serious, and is of no difference to a slow and insidious form of terrorism against us.”