Australia's commitment to addressing climate change in Tuvalu

from Government of Australia
Published on 16 Dec 2011 View Original

A bipartisan delegation has seen firsthand how Australia supported Tuvalu through its recent water crisis and is continuing to help build resilience against the impacts of climate change.

The delegation, led by Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, comprises Deputy Opposition Leader, Julie Bishop, Coalition MP Teresa Gambaro and Government MP Bernie Ripoll and also includes Australia's Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams.

"Australian support was critical during Tuvalu's recent emergency when a lack of rain led to a serious water shortage in September," Mr Marles said.

Australia worked with New Zealand and other donor countries to deliver shipments of water, desalination units and water delivery trucks to Tuvalu.

In addition, Australian climate change funding has procured 607 water tanks and increased access to clean water for 85 per cent of the people living on the main island of Funafuti.

"The beginning of the rainy season means that these water tanks will now be filling up and fresh water will be available," Mr Marles said.

"With the highest elevation point being 4.6 metres and just 26 square kilometres of land area, Tuvalu's vulnerability to the effects of climate change is frighteningly clear."

Australian climate change funding will distribute 150 water tanks for primary schools in outer islands, increase freshwater supply and storage by 400 cubic metres, expand mangrove plantations and rehabilitate soil and surface areas on outer islands to establish 12 new food crop plantations.

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