Travel Professor – Where in the World is Tuvalu?

Travel Professor – Where in the World is Tuvalu?


In this episode, the Travel Professor is
in Tuvalu. Where in the world is Tuvalu? I hear you ask. Well, right there,
basically in the middle of the Pacific. Made up of nine Islands, Tuvalu is one of
the smallest countries in the world, both in terms of size and population. There is
about 11,000 people in Tuvalu and the geographical area is about 26
square kilometres. (Cabin crew, please be seated for landing). To get to Tuvalu, I
caught a flight from Suva, the capital of Fiji. 2 and a half hours north into
the Pacific and it’s just amazing once you see land again. Here is the
lagoon of Funafuti. Tuvalu was first thought to be
inhabited about 3,000 years ago. In 1978, Tuvalu became an independent
country. Before that it was called the Ellice Islands and it was a British
colony and administrated together for a time with the Gilbert Islands which is
now known as Kiribati. The approach into Tuvalu, into the
main island of Funafuti is just incredible. So we’re just about to land, just about to
land, just about to land and oh
we’re taking off again. We miss the landing. What happened? Here is the problem. A dog ran onto the track and the flight had to take off again so we didn’t run over the
dog so we have to do a loop around and we get another chance to see and come
into Funafuti and see Tuvalu from the air. All good this time. No dog on the runway
and the landing was smooth so I’ve arrived. Some viewers might have heard of Tuvalu
with respect to climate change. Countries like Tuvalu and Kirabati and the
Maldives are threatened by sea level rises because they’re low-lying atolls. You
can see here we’ve got the lagoon on the right and the ocean on the left and
there’s only a thin strip of land separating the two so any changes in sea
levels, particularly rises, will decrease land mass even more. When your island is only 11 kilometres
long and less than 100 metres wide, the issue of what to do with garbage becomes of
paramount importance. Here is the dump at one end of the island where you can see
white goods, plastics, old cars being dumped and put in one place. The
Tuvalu government have been working with international donors such as the EU and
Australia to deal with this problem. One thing that’s not in short supply on the
island is pigs. These are grown and cooked up for every feast on the island.
So delicious. While Tuvalu doesn’t have many land
resources, it does have a lot of water resources. You can see behind me, there’s
three beautiful yellow fin tuna caught out in Tuvalu waters. Actually selling
the fishing rights is one of the main sources of income for the country of Tuvalu.

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