South Korea to help Tuvalu avoid risk of sinking under water

On the brink of being submerged in water due to rising sea levels, the island state of Tuvalu, situated in the Pacific Ocean, hopes to benefit from a project that aims to prevent its demise. Picture: ADB

SEOUL – On the brink of being submerged in water due to rising sea levels, the island state of Tuvalu, situated in the Pacific Ocean, hopes to benefit from a project that aims to prevent its demise.

Composed of nine coral islands, Tuvalu stands at just 5 meters above sea.

Due to global warming, the region’s sea level has been increasing at a rate of 5mm per year, and the island nation is on the verge of submersion.

With a total area of 260,000, Tuvalu is home to approximately 10,000 residents.

To deal with the crisis, Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga asked Korean officials for assistance regarding the matter during an international symposium held on the island in 2016.

In response to the prime minister’s request, the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries initiated the foundational work towards a solution last August.

According to a report detailing the solution, a combination of facilities including a 600-meter breakwater will be installed to fight the rise in sea levels.

The government of Tuvalu has secured $36 million from the United Nations Development Fund for use on projects that will help overcome rising sea levels.

An official at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that the cooperative venture between the two nations concerning the project will be outlined through ministerial level talks.

“We hope to have Korean constructions companies participate in the plan as well,” said the ministry official.