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Funafuti – Tuvalu- photo du Pacifique Sud. © AFP photo Torsten Blackwood

Although it has almost 3,5 million km² in total maritime area, Tuvalu is a very small independent State (26 km² of emerged lands) in the South Pacific Ocean. It is an island nation, because the Polynesian archipelago is made of 9 atolls – Nanumea, Niutao, Nanumanga, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, Nukulaelae and Niulakita – 8 of which are inhabited. Besides, ‘Tuvalu’ means “8 islands together”. Its culminating point is 4,5 m above water level… Half of the 11,000 inhabitants live below 3 meters. And yet, the high tides – which grow more frequent – reach up to 3 m above regular level.


Water access : drinking water is rare because the fresh water duckweed is often polluted by the waste from pig breeding. Therefore drinking water must be imported.

Climate imbalance : Tuvalu is considered as the first country that might be abandoned by its inhabitants in order to escape engulfing ; in fact, Tuvalu evacuated the inhabitants of its lower islands, knowing that the first islets of Kiribati had already disappeared under the waters.


The association Alofa Tuvalu, which means “loving Tuvalu”, was created in February 2005 thanks to francophones who directed the movie “Nuages au paradis” (Clouds in Paradise) tackling the archipelago’s situation. They made a second trip at the end of 2004 to gather the population’s support for their relief project called .Small is Beautiful

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