Have you heard about 'Tuvalu'? What do you think it is? A music band? A dance form? Or, a food item? If your guess is one of them then you're wrong.
Did it ever cross to your mind that it could be a country? Yes, it is an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean.
If you ask why then I have a few things to list for you -
1. Remote Nation: Tuvalu is one of the most remote nations of the world. It has a land area of about 26 sq. km. It has a population of roughly over 11,000. Their main source of income comes from sales of stamps and coins; fishing licenses; and lease of its highly famous .tv domain. The country's revenue is also highly dependent on donations and the contribution of international communities.
2. Poor Connectivity: The island nation has only one airport located in its capital, Funafuti. Fiji Airways sends flight on the island for just three times a week. It is hence, really difficult to get to the island.
3. Hard To Spot: Most of us may not have heard about the nation until now because of its small area which makes it difficult to be spotted in the map. With the land area of about 26 sq. km, it has only about 2000 tourists visit in the nation per year.
In 1989, the UN listed Tuvalu as one of a number of island groups most likely to disappear beneath the sea in the 21st century because of global warming.
Most locals of the island nation have fled to New Zealand and other countries in the South Pacific, fearing that the island will have to face the wrath of nature anytime soon. The nation has therefore attracted the attention of many International Aid workers, who come to the island to study the impact of global warming.
Some of the reasons why you should visit the island are -
WWII History: At the advent of WWII, the island was no exception and it had to be the part of one of mankind's darkest past. Tuvalu was used as a base for allied forces to attack the nearby Kiribati, which was occupied by the Japanese at the time. Today, we can see the remains of the planes and gun posts on the island. The village of Nanume is one of the major attractions of the island if you want to know about the history of WWII in the island.
Free from the Crowd: Tuvalu is the least visited country in the world. This also means that you don't need to wait in line for enjoying your favorite activity that you've been longing to do on the island. What could be better than having the whole crystal clear lagoons at your sight and you can click that beautiful picture without interruption?
Water Activities: The Funafuti Conservation Area is a marine conversation area and it is home to a number of lagoons, reefs, and motu (islets). It is still open to tourists and you can enjoy a number of water activities such as diving and snorkeling. You can hire a local guide who'll take you to the location.
Communication: The medium of teaching on the island is English. Hence, almost everyone can speak English. They also have their own local language which is called 'Tuvaluan'.You can easily communicate with your guide in English even if you know basic English. At the same time, you can also learn a new language.
Airstrips as a Playground: You can probably play volleyball, football, or even run around with friends on the runway of the flight. Worried about your safety? We have got you covered, as mentioned earlier there are only three functional flights per week. So, once the flights disappear in the skies, the hustle-bustle in the runway starts again. The sirens have been specifically placed to prevent any air accidents. So, once the sirens blow, everyone leaves the runway. You've not booked your hotels, yet? The runway has got you covered.
As the sunsets, the runway turns into one of the largest outdoor sleepovers. What could be better than sleeping under clear skies?
Community Living: In a lifetime, you come across many friends, and sometimes you even plan to be next-door neighbors. But, how many of you actually remember that promise? Tuvalu is known for its community living. In Tuvalu, we can see two individuals, who aren't related to blood but end up living together with their own respective partners and raise their kids together. Tuvalu is a friendly country with one of the lowest crime rates.
Rich Wildlife: Lizards, turtles, and several residents species of birds are one of the notable life-forms on the island. Some of the birds commonly seen in the island nation are reef herons, white-tailed tropic-birds, terns and noddies. Sperm whale, killer whale, Bryde's whale, false killer whale spinner dolphin, and striped dolphin are some of the Marine mammals found on the island which has been listed in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.
The UN-designated Tuvalu as one of the least developed countries of the world because of its limited potential for economic development, absence of exploitable resources, and its small size and vulnerability to external economic and environmental shocks.
The international communities and the local leaders have shown their concern towards the rising water level. Scientists predict Tuvalu could become uninhabitable in the next 50 to 100 years. Hence, the local leaders are even considering the total evacuation of inhabitants of the island.
Global warming is an international emergency.
Tuvalu is one of the greatest examples of the countries that have been affected by the change in climatic conditions. The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, has an important message for us as he quotes, “If we save Tuvalu, we save the world".
Would you like to visit Tuvalu? What is your favorite island destination? Write to us in the comment section below.
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