Drowning Country: Tuvalu Symbol of Catastrophe and Hope

Tiny Tuvalu Fights for Its Literal Survival
By Stephen Leahy


Funafuti atoll seen from 125 miles above the Eart

VIENNA, Jul 27 (IPS/IFEJ) – The second smallest nation on Earth hopes to turn itself into an example of sustainable development that others can emulate.

But the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu and its 10,500 people may only have 50 years or less to set that example before it is swept away by rising sea levels due to climate change.

“Construction of the first ever biogas digestor on a coral island is complete,” said Gilliane Le Gallic, president of Alofa Tuvalu, a Paris-based group that is working with the local Tuvaluan government.

Located on a small islet near Tuvalu’s capital of Funafuti, the biogas digester uses manure from about 60 pigs to produce gas for cooking stoves. More importantly, more than 40 Tuvaluans have been trained at the newly opened Tuvalu National Training Centre on renewable energy.

“We are trying to create simple, workable models of sustainable development that can be reproduced by others elsewhere,” Le Gallic, a documentary filmmaker, told IPS from Paris.

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