Monday, October 26, 2009

climate refugees in the Maldives

The people of Maldives may have to eventually live in a "climate refugee camp,"
Mohamed Nasheed the president of the archipelago warned on Thursday, urging rich countries to sign a treaty against the warming of the planet.

The Maldives has a history dating back over 2,000 years and we do not share our paradise against a camp of climate refugees he said at a summit on climate change.

Considering his country as a frontline state in the fight against climate change, Mr Nasheed said that global warming threatened to overwhelm the island in the Indian Ocean.

Emerging countries have not contributed to the crisis and the industrialized countries should avoid complacency.

This archipelago, composed of 1,192 islands, is a popular exotic destination for wealthy tourists but a rise of water could threaten the archipelago.

Over 80% of land is located less than a meter above sea level, an increase of one meter above the sea level is enough to overwhelm the country.

The threat is such that Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected president said his government planned to buy new land.

At the initiative of Mr. Nasheed, last Saturday a ministerial meeting was held under water, a world first aimed to draw attention on the effects of global warming.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Committee of the UN Climate Change has warned that rising sea levels by 2100 would be sufficient to render the island uninhabitable.