Video China World Entertainment Sports Lifestyle  

Tuvalu threatened by rising sea levels

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, November 18, 2013
Adjust font size:


Debate is heating up in Poland as a two-week UN Conference on Climate Change continues. And scientists warn that it'll be much more than extreme weather to come in the future.

They sing of land and future. But for the people of Tuvalu, neither is necessarily guaranteed. Scientists warn that by the end of this century, rising global sea levels may submerge this remote Pacific island nation, making its 10,000 people the world's first official climate refugees.

Tuvalu's Prime Minister has become the country's most vocal climate change activist, both at home and abroad. He outright rejects foreign suggestions of a population resettlement.

"People here don't want to leave their land, and it is immoral to just push these people to say: you can go live in Australia, or wherever, in others lands. That's not stopping climate change. It's quite beside the point," Enele Sopoaga, Tuvalu Prime Minister, said.

Officials here say: it's not just about saving Tuvalu, it's about saving the world. They say global consumption patterns, specifically in industrialized countries, must be changed patterns, which they say, have disproportionately affected their people and their way of life.

Tuvalu is actually a series of islands and atolls. The land is pretty-much flat, and sits a little more than one meter above sea level, making this country particularly vulnerable."

Changing weather patterns aren't helping the odds of survival, either. Thanks to climate change, experts believe, Tuvalu has suffered from three droughts in a row. In 2011, the government rationed water and declared a state of emergency.

"Temperature is a key element, that if it actually changes - as it changes now, by means of increasing - it is very possible that it is the cause of these extremes that we are actually experiencing more frequently," Hilia Vave from Tuvalu Meteorological Center said.

80-year old Kausele Kaisami was born and raised in Tuvalu. This is the only place she, her children, and her grandchildren all call home.

"People are talking about the rising of the sea level in our days, and we are just thinking: Tuvalu, mostly the government must do something before the problem occurs," Kaisami said.

Tuvaluan leaders know that this is a crisis. But they say it is one which extends beyond their borders.

And they're calling on the world to act, and act quickly before it's too late.


Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from