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Tuvalu language week raising awareness for other issues

30 September 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

"Tuvalu Fakana ki te Atua. Fakatumau au Tu mo Faifaiga. Tautua mo Aotearoa - Tuvalu trust in God. Nurture your cultural values and heritage. Serve Aotearoa."

That is the theme for this year's Tuvalu Language Week which also coincides with its 40th independence anniversary.

In 2013, New Zealand was home to 3,537 people and over 63 per cent of them can speak the language.

But this week isn't just about celebrating language.

Minister for  Housing, Urban Development and Transport Phil Twyford joined Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio at the launch of Tuvalu Language Week in Auckland on the weekend.

Tuvalu community leaders with Ministers Aupito Williams Sio and Phil Twyford. Photo/ PMN.

Mr Twyford says there's a special awareness with Tuvalu and the damaging effects climate change has had on the island.

"The threat posed by rising sea levels and climate change means we have to be more mindful about the Tuvalu nation, in Aotearoa, across the Pacific and in Tuvalu itself."

Tuvalu is home to around 11,000 people. It's one of the world's smallest nations and its language is considered vulnerable by UNESCO.

Funafuti, Tuvalu. Photo/ RNZ.

Aupito says although Tuvalu is small, the work it's done on the international change to promote climate change awareness is huge. 

"Tuvalu has taken the lead... This is the challenge of our time and Tuvalu's success on the international stage proves that small nations can make a difference."

Tags: climate change, Tuvalu,