Volltext: How do states without defence forces defend themselves?

Tuvalu’s strategic situation is free from conventional threats to national security. It does not 
have land borders and its nearest neighbours are all small island states with neither the design 
nor the capability to challenge Tuvalu's territory or interests. Tuvalu does have an interest in 
protecting its natural resources, particularly its fisheries. Its large EEZ contains rich stocks of 
sought after Tuna species and Tuvalu licences foreign fishing vessels to fish its waters. To 
meet the requirement to regulate and police this fishing activity Tuvalu participates in the 
Australian-led Pacific Patrol Boat Program. This program provides patrol boats at no cost to 
Pacific nations for their military or police forces to operate. The boats are supported by training 
and technical support including resident Australian Navy maritime surveillance and technical 
advisers. The three Australian naval personnel in Tuvalu are the only military personnel 
permanently based in the country®. 
Tuvalu offers little to major powers seeking to compete with each other with the exception that 
Tuvalu has chosen to recognize the Republic of China government in Taiwan over recognition 
of the People's Republic of China". This issue of recognition of China was until recently one of 
the few issues to bring Tuvalu onto the global diplomatic stage, but the issue of climate change 
and rising sea levels has become an existential national threat for Tuvalu®. This threat has led 
to the Tuvaluan government taking a centre-stage role in climate change talks at the UN 
including the Copenhagen and Paris climate change meetings®. The issue of rising sea levels 
in a country whose maximum elevation is three meters above high tide is one that threatens the 
viability and existence of the state. This goes to the heart of the Copenhagen school of 
securitisation where, when treated as a threat to the security of the nation, environmental 
security is far more pressing than any military threat? 
. No military force or capability has the 
power to reverse or mitigate the effects of climate and rising sea levels on Tuvalu. The only 
way Tuvalu can deploy its state power to mitigate this threat is through the use of its sovereign 
status and diplomatic capabilities to build a global agreement to halt and hopefully reverse 
climate change and sea level rise as well as to build options through international partners to 
$6 Sam Batemen and Anthony Bergin, Staying the course: Australia and maritime security 
in the South Pacific, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Strategic Insight (Vol.52, May 2011), 
S"Tuvaluan recognition of Taiwan 
http://www.mofa.gov.tw/en/AllieslIndex. aspx?n- DF6F8F246049F8D6&sms-A76B7230ADF297 
$9 Apisai lelemia, A Threat to our Human Rights: Tuvalu's Persepective on Climate 
Change, UN Chronicle (Vol. XLIV, No. 2, 2007). Retreived from 
% Tuvalu Engaging on UN Climate Change http://newsroom.unfecc.int/unfecc- 
? Roland Dannreuther, International Security: The Contemporary Agenda, (Cambridge: 
Polity, 2013) 47-49.


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