Tuvalu, a country 1°C above sea level

Tuvalu, a country 1°C above sea level
Tuvalu, a country 1°C above sea level

Mr. Soseala Tinilau, a Tuvaluan delegate to the Lima COP20, points to Funafuti, the main city of the atoll.


Tuvalu, a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) in Polynesia, is the fourth smallest country in the world. Its 10,000 inhabitants will have no home by 2050, if the Pacific Ocean continues to rise due to global warming. Actually a rise of only one degree Celsius in the average temperature of the planet will be a serious threat to the survival of people in the nine atolls that make up Tuvalu. Its highest point is only 4.6 meters above the sea level.

The rising sea is already contaminating underground water sources in Tuvalu, so people are dependent on collecting rainwater. There is widespread distress when the El Niño phenomenon brings drought to the country, as it does regularly.

The farming of Taro and Puraka potatoes is already threatened due to lack of fresh water. Other than fish and coconuts, this is the only food grown in the islands.

The Tuvalu delegation traveled more than 30 hours to come to Lima, in the hope that their plight will move the world and keep average global temperature rise within two degrees Celsius. Anything else will be too hot and too late for the Tuvaluans who want to get on with their lives, to sing and dance and fish in one of the last non-industrial paradises left in this world - a world whose contamination threatens to drown them, though they have contributed nothing to the contamination.

Mr. Shuuichi Endou, environmental goodwill ambassador, shows the effects of sea level rising at Tuvalu

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