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State

Capital

Tuvalu

Funafuta

(former Ellice Islands)

Currency unit

AUS$

Connections

Empire

Kiribati

New Zealand

US
  Western Pacific

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

History

Islands located south of Kiribati. Pop. 9000. The state includes Niu, whose people are Kiribatan.

The people are believed to have migrated from Tonga and Samoa perhaps about 1325 AD, calculating from language divergence. But archaeology suggests settlement by 300-500 AD.

Niu was first seen by Spaniards in 1568 and Niulakita in 1595. A British Captain named them Ellice in 1819. Beachcombers and castaways settled there in the early 19th century. Whalers arrived 1870. About 1850s Blackbirders from Peru took slaves from Funafuti and Nukulaelae, removing most of the population for allegedly contract labor but none ever returned.

Missionaries arrived in 1865. An American company mined phosphate (Guano) on Niulakita and in 1856 claimed the four southern islands.

In 1892 British formed the Gilbert Islands Protectorate (now Kiribati) and Tuvalu was joined to it. The Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony was proclaimed in 1916. When the Japanese occupied the Gilberts in 1942 the Americans occupied the Ellice Islands to regain the Gilberts.

Tuvalu voted to secede from the joint colony in 1974 and became separately independent in 1978.

The Islands have a treaty with the US which gives the US access to the bases built during the second world war and the right to veto the use by any other power of the bases. i.e. its sovereignty is limited and US power has replaced the British.

Languages

Polynesian.

related to Samoan and Tokelauan.

English

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

Politics

Interesting reading

A Pattern of Islands - Arthur Grimble

See Kiribati.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

Economics

 History

 Politics

 Economics

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Green/Ecology

If global warming leads to a rise in sea level most of the country could be submerged with only centimeters rise because the average height above sea level is only about one metre. The state of the coral reefs gives reason for concern as they are being damaged by "bleaching" caused by unusually warm oceans.

It is believed the whole country will need to be evacuated by about 2050.

Member of the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS)

Serious drought in 2011 because of lack of rain (La Nina phenomenon). Emergency desalination plant delivered from New Zealand. Perhaps though, people could do it themselves. DIY desalination

Google desalination

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

Human Rights

Climate effects

One degree
Probably already doomed to disappear under rising sealevel.

Two degrees
Won't be there. Corals may die from bleaching.

Last revised 15/10/11


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