Tuesday, 12th December 2017

Tuvaluan children sharing their thoughts on Climate change

Posted on 16. Apr, 2011 by Lan Marie in Adaptation to climate change, Consequences of Climate Change on Tuvalu, Sustainability

The class started with the song “when the sea rises” – a song that apparently was made in the aftermaths of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean 2004

On Tuvalu, the passing rate for primary education is only 37 percent. This is, however, not reflected in these Tuvaluan childrens awareness level when it comes to climate change.

A couple of weeks ago, we held a workshop on climate change for a group of 12-13 year old school children in the school of the Seventh Adventist Church. The 32 children were amazingly fun to work with and after some brainstorming on the board; we parted them into groups that worked on one topic each. The topics were taken out of the discussion and were: Water shortage, Natural Disasters, Motorbikes (emission reduction), Rubbish and Sea-level rise.

Though the Seventh Adventist Church doesn’t have a special focus on climate change in the curriculum, some of the children’s reflections were remarkable.

One girl had a fantastic reflection on sea-level rise, which I unfortunately didn’t write down – but it was something like this:

Sea-level rise might cause that Tuvalu becomes under the sea. Not now, but maybe in thirty or fifty years. Some people say that Tuvalu will not become under the sea. They say that when the sea rises, Tuvalu will rise as well.

Another girl refused use more sheets of paper than the poster in itself (like drawing on paper and stick it on the poster – to make sure that you don’t make mistakes on the poster), because she didn’t want to waste paper (she was from the water shortage group).
A boy said that he wanted every family to plant at least one tree each, to prevent coastal erosion.

The sea-level rise groups’ reflection on sea-level rise and the solutions that Tuvaluans could adopt

Waste management is a huge problem on Tuvalu and the children had several good ideas on how they could make their island cleaner

The Natural-Distater-group discussed how natural distasters can affect Tuvalu

The water group wanted people to fix their leaking taps (also a big problem here), use pit-toilets (there is an ongoing pilot on compost toilets here at the moment), use water more wisely – don’t keep the water on when you brush your teeth – and just flush “half” when flushing the toilet.

Here are some of the notes from the brainstorming:

What do you think of when you think about Tuvalu?
Tuvalu has nine islands
Funafuti is the capital
Tuvalu has no mountain
Tuvalu is an island near equator
Tuvalu has no factories
Tuvalu is a small island.
Tuvalu has no river
Tuvalu has a lot of fish
If there are no foods in the shop, we can eat pandanus, banana or coconut
Tuvalu has eight different languages and cultures
Tuvalu has many tsunami warnings

What do you think of when you hear the words climate change?
Increasing sun heat
Sea-level rise
Sometimes rain is falling, sometimes there is no rain
Soon Tuvalu is going to be under the sea
The water is around us
Changing of days and weather
The level of the water is going up
The sun is very hot
Ice is getting melted
Changing of natural disasters
Climate change and King Tides
Trees fall down
Strong wind
Carbon dioxide – car and bicycle
Change in the atmospheric conditions
Artic is melting

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One Response to “Tuvaluan children sharing their thoughts on Climate change”

  1. Hanne 13 May 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Wow! It’s amazing to me how reflected theese kids are. And it’s kind of sad that they have to learn this, it shouldn’t be necessary, but unfortunately it is.



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