On the 22nd of November 2016, Celine Fabrequette, ACP YPN Programme Manager and SDG5 Expert chaired the exchange between ACP YPN members and His Excellency Ambassador Leuelu. Ambassador Leuelu, Ambassador of the Republic of Tuvalu to the European Union, the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Duchy of Luxembourg. Ambassador Leuelu has 28 years of work experience and service with the Government of Tuvalu. Formerly he served as Tuvalu high Commissioner to the Republic of the Fiji Island. His work coverage focus in the UN, where he has taken part in key meetings on developing international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change.
This exchange was a great opportunity to learn more about the impact that climate change have in Tuvalu and how young Tuvaluans are unable to take part in national efforts to address the issue. Tuvalu now has a total to 11000 citizens, however due to global warming already 5000 of Tuvaluans have had to relocate to neighboring countries such as New-Zealand or Australia. For a country with the characteristic of Tuvalu, global warming is a reality. Indeed, participants learnt that if the sea level were to rise to only 50cm, Tuvalu would cease to exist. To save Tuvalu, the government has taken actions towards adopting renewable energy initiatives; as of today Tuvalu uses 40% of renewable energy and aims to reach the 100% by 2020. By enabling its youth to attend and participate at COP meetings and developing the national campaign with young people, the Tuvalu Government is empowering youth involvement and supporting inter-generational dialogue.
Tuvalu is a great example of national efforts towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. We can only hope that their example will help everyone to see the urgency of the situation and the importance of having everyone and every country contribute and collaborate with each other to the effort towards addressing climate change.
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ACP YPN would also like to thank SergeK photography for immortalising this exchange