Tuvalu News

Franco-english team in Tuvalu to study feasability of national renewable energy plan

July 2005

As part of the 10-year "Small Is Beautiful" plan, whose objective is to help Tuvalu become a replicable model of an environmentally respectful nation before its disappearance due to the effects of climate change, a team of specialists has begun a 6-week visit to one of the world’s smallest nations. The objective is to study and report on the feasability of implementing a comprehensive national renewable energy plan throughout the 9-island archipelago using local resources: solar, wind, biomass, biogas, bioenergy, ocean thermal, etc.

This plan has been conceived by the Alofa Tuvalu Association, initiated by Gilliane Le Gallic, co-author of the film Trouble in Paradise and creator of Earth Day France in 1990. “Small Is Beautiful” is supported by, among others, the Pacific Fund, the French Foreign Ministry (M. Bruno Gain), ADEME (the French agency for environment and energy control), SOPAC (South Pacific Applied Geothermic Centre), and, most importantly, by Tuvalu's government and citizenry.

The scientific team is composed of Pierre Radanne (French specialist on renewable energies, president of the ADEME from 1998 to 2003, French representative for the Kyoto Protocol negotiations and former consultant for the French agency on global warming) and Dr. Sarah Hemstock (British scientist and author of a study on biomass and bioenergy in the Pacific). The two members of Alofa Tuvalu, Gilliane Le Gallic (specialist in environmental communication and public relations) and Fanny Héros (environmental journalist), will coordinate, film the operations and continue their work of encouraging greater environmental consciousness and behaviour by Tuvalu's general population.

Another team, financed by the Asian Development Bank, began a study on waste management, compost and recycling in the spring of 2004. The two teams will coordinate their work.

In addition, to help those Tuvaluans who can no longer meet their food needs by cultivating taro and other traditional crops due to salt contamination of the deep soil from sea level rise, the team has brought seeds that can grow using the still cultivatable soil surface, such as cucumbers, tomatos, eggplant and melons. These seeds were donated by Philippe Desbrosses, funder of Sainte Marthe farm and consultant for organic agriculture at the European Commission and by Dominique Guillet, President of the Kokopelli association.

For further information, please contact Raphaelle and Alix at Alofatuvalu@alofatuvalu.tv


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