Tuvalu is a group of nine tiny islands in the South Pacific which won independence from the United Kingdom in 1978. Five of the islands are coral atolls the other four consist of land rising from the sea bed.

All are low-lying with no point on Tuvalu being higher than 4.5 metres above sea level. Local politicians have campaigned against global warming arguing that climate change could see the islands swamped by rising sea levels.