Jun 17, 2018 Last Updated 6:23 AM, Jun 15, 2018

Tuvalu ain’t sinking

REMOTE island nations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans have for many years been considered extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change and, in particular, rising sea levels.

However, new research by the University of Plymouth and University of Auckland is seeking to demonstrate that islands formed on coral reefs are in fact ymore resilient than has perhaps been suggested to date.

University of Auckland Professor Paul Kench and co-researcher Dr Murray Ford examined changes in the geography of Tuvalu’s nine atolls and 101 reef islands between 1971 and 2014, using aerial photographs and satellite imagery.

They found the total landmass of Tuvalu of 26 square kilometres, which is just bigger than Auckland’s Rangitoto Island, had a net increase of 2.9 per cent during the 40-year period of study. This represented 73 hectares (180 acres) of land increase, despite competing sea-level rise rates of over 3.5 mm per year simultaneously.

This peer-reviewed scientific study published recently flies in the face of sensationalised rhetoric for over a decade by Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu.

In December 2014, Sopoaga asked fellow world leaders at the United Nations climate summit in Lima, Peru: “If you were faced with the threat of the disappearance of your nation, what would you do?”

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu -- The government of Tuvalu has rejected findings of a research conducted by scientists at the Auckland University that says the tiny island nation may not be sinking due to the impact of climate change. Enele Sopoaga has called on scientists and the media to exercise care when conducting research of atoll islands such as Tuvalu which he is Prime Minister of, so as not to confuse the public.

Speaking at press conference he called in Suva, Fiji last month, PM Sogopaga said Tuvaluan as well as Pacific scientists whom he did not name believed the research ‘had holes.’ “The important thing is to have the scientific reports properly clarified by credible scientific communities,” the PM said. “The scientists working with us are very stunned by the manner in which this report was done and was released and the media was able to pick it up and put it out without verification.”

Funded by the Auckland University, the New Zealand study largely based on 40 years’ worth of imagery of the Tuvaluan shoreline concluded amongst other things that the country’s habitable land mass had expanded.

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

 
 

CLIMATE change has become a global phenomenon impacting the whole world. There are cynics who say that there is no such thing as climate change believing that climate is just a natural procession of evolution, a natural procession of change.

There are those who believe that all of these natural catastrophes and disasters is God’s way of punishing humans for their immoral and depraved way of living and predict that the end of time is closing in on us. Then there are those who see the changes in weather patterns comparing the present with the past seeing phenomenal differences exacerbated by the constant barrage of natural disasters the world over.

More often than not these are people at the brunt of it all, experiencing these extreme weather changes. Some of these people are inhabitants of small islands states and right here in the Pacific quite a number of these islands have become quite vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It is not unusual for elders to tell you that 10 years ago the coastline was ‘down there’ now it is ‘up here’ it has shifted.

And they point out that fishing, is just not how it used to be the. Nowadays they have to know where it will ‘catch’ or go farther out to sea get a decent catch. One of these small island states is Tuvalu, one of the smallest countries in the world with a population of a approximately 12,000 living on low lying coral atoll islands that are only around three meters above sea level. 

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

TUVALU Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga has not rested. Barely settled at home after the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Morocco in November, Sopoaga plunged straight into laying the platform for his country’s inaugural Climate Resilience Week, while juggling an intense government budget debate in Tuvalu’s national parliament.

“There is no time to waste. This is all part of building protective measures long term. We cannot just sit around and wait for outside help and that is why we must keep the momentum going from Paris as well as Morocco,” says Sopoaga as he rounded up from yet another meeting, this time a strenuous week-long United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) regional meet in Suva in December.

Tuvalu is among those at the forefront of advocating for the inclusion of a legal mechanism to recognise the rights of persons displaced by climate change. “We are pushing for a Pacific Islands Insurance Facility for the region. There will be a specific formula which we are putting together as part of this based on things like the strength and damage of natural disasters and of course, easy access to those affected,” Sopoaga says. 

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

Former PM seeks re-election

PROTESTS in Funafuti, capital of Tuvalu, against Tuvalu’s newly appointed Chief Justice saw the deferment to March of a bi-election in the island’s parliament. Strongly tipped to win his Vaitupu seat again is Apisai Ielemia, although the government of Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga has put up an opponent. A member of the opposition and being a former Prime Minister himself, Hon Ielemia lost his seat in a controversial ruling of Chief Justice Charles Sweeney in October last year. Sweeney, an Australian, was appointed by the Tuvalu Governor General at the beginning of 2016 to replace Sir Gordon Ward, who has been unable to travel to Tuvalu through Fiji due to a travel ban the Fiji regime had imposed against him.

He was President of Fiji’s Court of Appeal until his resignation on December 2006 following the military coup that brought to power the then Fiji military commander Frank Bainimarama. Last November’s peaceful protests by about 80 people of mostly men but with some women, young people and children was the second in recent months, all aimed at CJ Sweeney. Protestors carried banners and placards telling the Australian jurist he was no longer welcome to set foot again on Funafuti. Judge Sweeney was reportedly in Australia at the time.

.....to read more buy your personal copy at

Page 1 of 4

Find Us on Facebook