Back to Inquiry Set

10.10b.11 The Talanoa Call for Action

United Nations
2018 December 12
Exceprt From Website

Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project, News: "Government of Tuvalu Launches a New Coastal Protection Project," July 8, 2017, https://tcap.tv/news/2017/7/08/government-of-tuvalu-launches-new-coastal-protection-project

These images show the same glaciers in Greenland in 1987 (above) and in 2017 (below). Note the shrinking amount of ice as the tips of the glaciers break off into the sea. Global warming caused by burning fossil fuels has been increasing dramatically since the Industrial Revolution began in the early 1800s. Burning fossil fuels for energy — to run our cars, heat our homes, power our factories — emits greenhouse gases that help trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere. The result is rising temperatures that melt ice that has long been present in Greenland, which is part of the Arctic Circle. Scientists predict that the global sea level may be 25 inches higher by the year 2100.

Students should understand the scientific factors that cause global warming and its connection to sea level rise. This video may help: https://cleanet.org/resources/56031.html. A warming climate causes land ice to melt, which turns into water that flows into the ocean, increasing its volume. The ocean and the land absorb light from the sun, unlike ice, which reflects sunlight. So, when ice in glaciers or icebergs melts, it exposes more land and ocean water to the sun. More of the sunlight is absorbed, thereby warming both the ocean and the land. The following sources will help students understand the impact of that sea level change on low-lying land areas.

… [T]he Government of Tuvalu along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has signed an agreement for a new climate resilience project that will benefit nearly 30 percent of the population. The seven-year project marks a transformational change in coastal protection for one of the world’s smallest and most vulnerable countries.

The Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project is financed with a US$36 million grant from the Green Climate Fund and US$2.8 million in co-financing from the Government of Tuvalu. Existing coastal protection measures in Tuvalu are extremely limited. The project will increase protection works from around 570 meters of coverage today to 2,780 meters at the end of the project. …

“This project adopts a comprehensive and systematic approach to managing coastal inundation and erosion. By protecting assets and infrastructure not only are we protecting peoples’ lives and livelihoods; we are also supporting a Small Island Developing State like Tuvalu to advance the goals outlined in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement for low-carbon, climate-resilient growth,” said UNDP Resident Representative Osnat Lubrani. …

The project will build upon existing initiatives, using a range of measures for coastal protection including ecosystem-based initiatives, and geo-textile and rock revetments. National capacity for resilient coastal management will also be developed, and the project will help to catalyze additional coastal adaptation finance.

While new defense measures will act as a buffer during storms, the project will build the capacity of government officials and local communities. This includes an extension of the Government’s existing scholarship program to provide support for students to study relevant disciplines, such as environmental science, civil and coastal engineering, oceanography, and meteorology …