An Australian environmentalist says the people of Tuvalu want Australians and the rest of the Western World to engage and understand the nature of climate change and the impact it will have on their nine low lying atolls.
Rob Gell, who is a spokesperson for Greening Australia, helped launch an exhibition today at Melbourne's Immigration Museum.
He says it is an attempt to educate people about the plight of the around ten thousand people still living in Tuvalu.
But Mr Gell says the Tuvaluans also want a broader discussion.
He says while they see themselves as the canaries in the coal mine, they want the industrialised nations to acknowledge their role in causing global warming.
"They are wanting us to understand that bigger issue. So they are really putting their arms out and saying, listen you people, you need to understand this global issue. We are the ones that are impacted first, it is not our fault but there are people all around the world going to be impacted by this and we don't think you are doing enough to deal with the problem."