30 Sep 2013

Tuvaluans use language week to highlight rising sea-level fears

6:46 am on 30 September 2013

Tuvaluans in New Zealand are using the first-ever Tuvalu language week, starting today, to highlight their will to survive.

The week is being promoted by New Zealand-based Tuvaluans to urge the rest of the world to do more to combat global warming as Tuvalu is in danger of becoming on one of the first nations to be lost to climate change.

The Labour Party's Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson, Su'a William Sio, says Tuvaluans fear that when their island home disappears, it will then follow that they will also lose their culture, language and identity.

He says it's hard for people on the outside to understand how dire the situation is.

"And unless you've gone to the Pacific and unless you've seen what's happening with Tuvalu and Kiribati and many of the other atolls, they won't get a sense of that and so for most of us we sort of live in a bubble in New Zealand and for the majority of the world living in developed nations."

The New Zealand MP Su'a William Sio.