12 Apr 2007

Tuvalu says climate change contributes to erosion

1:34 pm on 12 April 2007

Tuvalu's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment says dramatic erosion, caused by climate change, is already apparent on the country's islands.

A study released this week into small islands for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that islands in the South Pacific will be hit hard by climate change.

The permanent secretary for natural resources and environment, Minute Alapati Taupo, says Tuvalu's highest point is just three metres above sea level and the rising seas are ruining crops and spoiling the islands' fresh water.

"Our food crops you have to dig down and plant them, probably three metres down. Now we have experienced the saltiness of the water that is really adversing our food crops. The rising sea level is also affecting our drinking waters from the well. Not only the drinking water, but the water that we need for our food crops."

Minute Alapati Taupo says Tuvalu's water supply is also affected by dry spells that occur almost every two weeks.