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Tuvalu releases the first inventory of its vital resource: Marine Life
2:49 pm GMT+12, 19/06/2013, Tuvalu

Alofa Tuvalu, the French-Tuvaluan NGO, handed the Tuvalu Marine Life publication, symbolically printed at 100 copies, to Tine Leuelu, Ambassador of Tuvalu to Belgium, to IUCN, UNESCO and to its partners. The event took place, early June, at the Paris Tropical Aquarium.
 
Overview: Lost in the middle of the Pacific, North of Fiji, Tuvalu is an archipelago of nine low-lying islands, spread over 900,000 km2. With a total landmass of 26km2 - 1/2 of Manhattan, 1/4 of Paris-, this young nation finds itself at the forefront of a planetary issue: climate change. And there can be no mistaking that unless existing trends are addressed immediately the very future of Tuvalu is at stake. And with it, the future of humanity.
 
Changing and increasingly erratic weather patterns, flooding due to sea level rise, increasing ocean temperatures and longer droughts are already putting Tuvalu’s vulnerable environment under pressure. It affects freshwater supply as well as local food production. Traditional root crops have become difficult to cultivate due to the infiltration of saltwater. Providing the nation’s nutritional base, Marine resource is, more than ever, vital for Tuvalu.
 
The first marine biodiversity inventory of the archipelago: Tuvalu Marine Life is a new emblematic action, part of the NGO ‘s « Small is Beautiful » plan, a Remarkable Action of UNESCO 2004-2014 Decade for Education in Sustainable Development.  For the first time, fragmented data have been gathered and completed… From 358 fish species referenced in 1991, Tuvalu Marine Life inventoried 607 fish and brought the total of marine species to 1526. At least 79 fish species of interest are listed in the IUCN Red List, of which 29 are included in Near Threatened or Threatened categories. A stock evaluation of 85 species selected by Tuvalu fisheries for their value to island communities, completed the study.
 
For Tine Leuelu, Ambassador of Tuvalu to Belgium : “Alofa Tuvalu has been very instrumental in projects, (renewable energy, conservation) that help because of the reality of what is going to happen to us. I’m very grateful to receive Tuvalu Marine Life book…. because the richness of Tuvalu is its Marine Life… and we need to conserve it”.
 
Tuvalu Marine Life is a starting point -- not a conclusion. While it contributes critical new knowledge to the international community, Tuvalu Marine Life aims to help Tuvalu manage its natural patrimony. In the meantime, the publication represents a unique history and testimony of Tuvalu’s marine environment as of 2013.

Tuvalu Marine Life is also the start of awareness campaigns toward a wide audience especially the youngest.  A first pictures exhibition and children workshops started on June 4th at the Tropical Aquarium.  The “Tuesday for Environment” monthly event tackled the Pacific and biodiversity subjects on June 4th as well. Last but not least, although on our site for only a couple of weeks, the study was downloaded over 5000 times !
 
A worldwide endeavour: Tuvalu Marine Life publication is the accomplishment of 7 years of work. It was made possible by The Fondation d’entreprise Total, AFD/CRISP (Coral Reef InitiativeS for the Pacific), Sue Devitt Beauty, Tuvalu Fisheries and Kaupule’s, Alofa Tuvalu and its numerous gracious supports throughout the world.
 
To get to the different reports : Preamble (in French) : http://www.alofatuvalu.tv/FR/05_a_tuvalu/05_tml_preamb_fr.pdf
 
Preamble (in English) : http://www.alofatuvalu.tv/US/05_a_tuvalu/05_page_tml/05_tml_preamb_us.pdf



SOURCE: MARINE LIFE/PACNEWS


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