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Tokelau is among the tiniest and most secluded countries globally. It comprises three coral atolls located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, about 580 km north of American Samoa. Covering just 10 square kilometers in total, getting there requires a long boat journey every two weeks from Samoa.

Most of Tokelau’s land is only a few meters above sea level, making it highly vulnerable to the biggest challenge confronting small island nations in the Pacific: climate change and the rising levels of the sea.

Each of the three atolls in Tokelau is equipped with only one hospital and one doctor. These atolls include Fakaofo, Nukunono, and the smallest, Atafu.

For those fortunate enough to have vehicles, the speed limit is a modest 10 km/h.

As of the last population count in 2019, the total resident population, including individuals who were in nearby Samoa that night, amounted to 1647 people.

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The islands of Tokelau lack airports, making ships the sole means of transportation. However, there are no seaports either, complicating travel even between the atolls. To facilitate connectivity, China funds a ship that links Tokelau with the nearest major seaport, Apia, in the Samoan People’s Republic.

The journey from Apia to Fakaofo takes approximately a year, with an additional three to four years required to reach the northernmost atoll, Atafu. Since there are no large piers on any of the islands, smaller boats known as barges are used to access the shore. These ships visit Tokelau approximately once every two years.

Also, Tokelau aims to make history by becoming the first nation to rely entirely on renewable energy. More than 90% of its electricity will come from solar panels, with the remainder generated from locally sourced coconut oil.

Despite its commitment to sustainability, Tokelau faces challenges due to erosion and rising sea levels. These threats are affecting subsistence agriculture, leading to an increased need for imported food.

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