“When sea level rises, I will jump on my boat with my bag and go to New Zealand.”Endou said children in their innocence are not aware of the damage global warming is doing to them or their country and by the time they will be of age to realize what it really means, it might be too late. Endou hopes good sense will prevail from the COP15. “I do not want to imagine what will happen to the Tuvaluans if a good decision is not made here. The dreams of Tuvaluan people might disappear along with their drowning country.”
Shuuichi Endou was mesmerized by Tuvalu the first time he landed in the small islands located in the Pacific.His initial plan was to start up a domain business in the small sinking islands in 1998. “I visited the capital – Funafuti and talked about my business proposal with the government officials,” he said. The beauty of the island living mesmerized Endou and that is when is decided to modify his plans and remain on the island and start up his own NGO. “It was the beauty of the untouched nature, the friendly smiling people, the scenery and the need to do something to help these people that made me stay in Tuvalu,” Endou reminisced. "I started up with the website for Tuvalu and started promoting Tuvalu through the use of my skills in photography."
Tuvalu has already made it to the big news by calling for the suspension of the Conference of the Parties (COP) plenary session and becoming the first country to scoop the Ray of the Day award here at the COP15 in Denmark. Endou got married four years ago to Yuko who also lives with him in Tuvalu .“There are times when I start missing my home back in Tokyo and that is when I do go back for a couple of months. But as I begin to miss Shuuichi, I come back to Tuvalu,” she said. Having spent more than 10 years in Tuvalu, Endou does not feel like an outsider in the country and fits in well with all the indigenous people of the island. It is not that Endou does not go to Japan at all or that he does not have plans to move back to Japan, but circumstances are such in Tuvalu that he would rather be in a place where he feels he can make a difference. “When and if I go back to Japan, I want to spend my life in the country-side so that I am away from all the hustle of the city and am able to spend a fossil-energy-free life.”--ENDS