Case Study - Tuvalu - Islands on the Frontline of Climate Change

Pacific islanders face the reality of climate change

Our best models and climate change scenarios estimate a future of sea level rise. The models suggest that by the end of the century the oceans could be one meter or more above their current levels. Coastal regions will be flooded and low-lying nations such as the tiny South Pacific country of Tuvalu could be submerged.

The impact of rising seas and the increase in extreme weather events can already be seen in Tuvalu. It is one of 22 Pacific island nations with 7 million inhabitants between them that contribute only 0.06% of global greenhouse gas emissions but are three times more vulnerable to climate change than countries in the North.

At the primary school in Funafuti, children are taught about climate change from the age of six. They are also learning what it means to emigrate, because this could be the last generation of children to grow up in Tuvalu. Its people are already in flight. More than 4,000 live in New Zealand, and the Tuvaluan government is planning the migration of the remaining 10,000. "Tuvalu - Islands on the Frontline of Climate Change" (6:27) is produced by Panos Pictures.

About the Filmmakers: Panos Pictures in the UK, is a photo agency specializing in global social issues, driven by the vision and commitment of its photographers and staff. Panos is known internationally for its fresh and intelligent approach and respected for its integrity and willingness to pursue stories beyond the contemporary media agenda.  Film used with permission.


(Photo credit: Panos Pictures, 2009)