"Tuvalu for the Almighty"
- Location: Oceania, island group consisting of nine coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from Hawaii to Australia
- Land Area: bellow 5m
- Total Area: 10 sq mi (26 km2)
- Population: 10,728
- Capital: Funafuti
- Monetary unit: Australian dollar (AUD)
- Languages: English and Tuvaluan
- National Holiday: National Day, October 1st
- In 1916, they were taken into the Gilbert and Ellice Islands and ruled as a colony, until internal self-government was granted in 1974. The islands were split from the Gilberts (which became Kiribati) in 1976, gaining independence as Tuvalu in 1978.
During the 1990s, however, as the influence of global warming on the climate started to become apparent, the very survival of the country itself has become the most pressing issue. One immediate consequence of the warming is a rise in sea levels the highest point on the island group is just 5 metres (16ft) above sea level. In the last five years, several small uninhabited islands have disappeared beneath the Pacific waves after the annual cyclone season. Many of the 10,000 population are now convinced that the island group quite literally has no future. The government has an arrangement with New Zealand, under which Tuvaluans will gradually be resettled.
Other political issues tend to pale into insignificance under such conditions. However, in the past, Tuvalu was very strongly opposed to French nuclear testing in the Pacific while, on the domestic front, there were heated debates on the country's constitutional future. A referendum in 1986 favoured the islands retaining their existing status of constitutional monarchy, rejecting the alternative option of becoming a republic. A treaty of friendship was signed with the USA in 1983. Despite the difficulties of running a country and an economy spread over three-quarters of a billion square kilometres with a land area of just 26 sq km (10 sq miles), Tuvalu nonetheless made substantial progress in education, health care and economic development.
In September 2000, Tuvalu was admitted to the United Nations, having been one of the very few sovereign states that did not belong to the organisation. Tuvalu has no political parties and under these circumstances, individual personalities have inevitably dominated the political scene. The 1990s were dominated by two such figures Tomasi Puapua (who is now Governor-General) and Bikenibeu Paeniu who vied for the premiership through most of the decade. In July 2002, Saufatu Sopoanga emerged as the new premier. However, dissatisfaction quickly accrued and, eventually, an opposition-sponsored vote of confidence in August 2004 saw Sopoanga lose by eight votes to six. He quickly resigned and a parliamentary vote saw Maatia Toafa, former deputy Prime Minister, be inaugurated. Optimism about the future of Tuvalu persists.
- Tuvalu consists of three reef islands and six true atolls. Its small, scattered group of atolls have poor soil and a total land area of only about 26 square kilometres (less than 10 sq. mi) making it the fourth smallest country in the world. The islets that form the atolls are very low lying. Nanumanga, Niutao, Niulakita are reef islands and the six true atolls are Funafuti, Nanumea, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Vaitupu. Funafuti is the largest atoll of the nine low reef islands and atolls that form the Tuvalu volcanic island chain. It comprises numerous islets around a central lagoon that is approximately 25.1 kilometres (15.6 miles) (N–S) by 18.4 kilometres (11.4 miles) (W-E), centred on 179°7'E and 8°30'S. On the atolls, an annular reef rim surrounds the lagoon with several natural reef channels. Surveys were carried out in May 2010 of the reef habitats of Nanumea, Nukulaelae and Funafuti and a total of 317 fish species were recorded during this Tuvalu Marine Life study. The surveys identified 66 species that had not previously been recorded in Tuvalu, which brings the total number of identified species to 607.
- Mayor cities:
- Alapi Village
- Fakaifou Village
- Senala Village
- Savave Village
- Teone Village
- Vaiaku Village
- Motufoua School
- Teava Village4
- Tanrake Village
- Points of interest - TOURISM:
- Tuvalu Ferryboat: It's an island group in the Pacific Ocean that stretches roughly 500 miles north to south, comprises of just nine islands or atolls. Most people travel by private boat. Yacht charters are possible in Tuvalu.
- Tuvalu Taxis and Car Rental: Even the main island of Tuvalu is very small, at about five miles long and very thin. There is a taxi service available around the capital city of Funafuti.
- Tuvalu Buses: You will not find any bus services on the islands except in Vaikau. But there is a privately owned 26-seat minibus that takes fee-paying passengers.
- Tuvalu has a tropical maritime climate; the temperature rarely ranges outside 28°C to 31°C. Rainfall is high, up to 3500mm in the south (including Funafuti), and is usually brief and heavy; the wettest season is November to February. From May to October winds are light and from the southeast (the trade winds), changing to west-northwest during the November to April 'cyclone season'.