Tuvalu, A country that is disappearing underwater due to climate change

The country that is becoming submerged as a result of climate change

A nation of 12,000 people is on the verge of extinction.

It is no secret that the global climate catastrophe and rising sea levels are harming a number of countries. With salinization of farms, droughts, and, in some cases, seeing how they are being submerged beneath water, the outlook for many Pacific islands is bleak. This is a tragic situation for the people who live on these areas.

As a result, Tuvalu, a nation of 12,000 people, is legally preparing for its impending extinction. This was demonstrated during the COP26 climate change meeting, when Tuvalu’s Minister of Justice, Communications, and Foreign Affairs, Simon Kofe, was giving a long speech when water began to rise to his knees. A video of the occurrence became viral as a result of it, causing debate among environmentalists.

Tuvalu

Tuvalu, a small island republic with a population of 12,000 people, is already officially planning for its annihilation.

This country is made up of nine islands that cover a total area of 26 square kilometers. A total of 12,000 people live on the islands. Furthermore, the territory is built on coral reefs that create rings around the center lagoon of the location.

During Tuvalu’s Minister of Justice, Communications, and Foreign Affairs, Simon Kofe’s, long address at the COP26 climate change summit, water began to come up to his knees. As a result, a video of the occurrence became viral and sparked debate among environmentalists.

This can be interpreted as a wake-up call for all of the world’s most polluting nations. The entire globe needs to take responsibility for its greenhouse gas emissions.

Following his powerful statement, Kofe seized the opportunity to demonstrate the island’s quality of life and to confirm that they were sinking.

He also stated that the area is low-lying. The highest point is four meters above sea level. “We live on extremely small strips of land,” Kofe added, “and in some spots you can see the ocean on both sides, the open sea on one side and a lagoon on the other.”

saline solution

In some regions, salt water is constantly seeping beneath the surface, threatening freshwater aquifers and agricultural land.

“Rain provides the majority of our drinking water, although on certain islands, wells were dug to tap groundwater. Due to seawater intrusion, this is no longer practicable, so we must rely solely on rainwater “The minister expressed his opinion.

In August 2021, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a study stating that the yearly rate of sea level rise in the world tripled between 1901 and 2018, averaging 3.7 millimeters per year.

However, the situation in the Pacific island region, according to Solomon Morgan Wairiu, lead author of the study’s small island chapter and a climate expert, is worse.

Between 1900 and 2018, the regional average sea level rise in the South Pacific was 5 to 11 mm per year.

Is this legal territory?

Tuvalu is now investigating a sector for which there is no regulatory framework or handbook. “The worst-case situation is that we are forced to migrate and our islands are completely drowned under the ocean,” Kofe said. “According to international law, a country can only have a maritime zone if it has a land region from which to draw it,” he added.

It is critical for all of the island’s residents and the minister to ensure that they are forever recognized as a state and have access to the resources of their maritime zone, even if they are submerged.

“At the moment, international standards are not in favor of countries like us if we vanish, because it is a completely new field of international law, and we have never seen a country vanish owing to climate change,” Kofe explained.

In the event of a major flood, a plan for relocating Tuvalu’s residents will almost certainly have to be devised as a last resort.

“We have not named the countries to which we would like to go,” Kofe finishes, “because we are also aware that displacement can be used as an excuse by some of the larger countries, who can say: ‘We provide them land to migrate to while we continue to emit greenhouse gases.'”

Article Author Gerluxe  Image:Oxfam Australia

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