Mohamed Nasheed, who was sworn in Tuesday as the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, says that rising sea levels threaten to inundate the tiny Indian Ocean island nation. He has announced plans for a fund to buy land elsewhere in the region, where the country’s population, estimated to be about 386,000, could rebuild their lives.
In an interview with the Guardian, Mr. Nasheed said that he is preparing for the worst:
“We can do nothing to stop climate change on our own and so we have to buy land elsewhere. It’s an insurance policy for the worst possible outcome. . . We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugees living in tents for decades,” he said.
Nasheed said that he is looking at land in India and Sri Lanka, because they have climates, cultures, and cuisines similar to that of the Maldives. He is also considering Australia, which has land to spare.
To pay for it, Nasheed says his government will set up a sovereign wealth fund, with revenues coming from tourism, the country’s most lucrative industry. The Guardian notes that 467,154 people visited the country, which is famed for its placid beaches, in 2006. … – csmon
“We loved the Beach Villa, wooden bungalow with outdoor shower on the most beautiful beach. We could snorkel and see wonderful bright coloured fish right in front of our room. We went on a snorkelling trip to ‘The Wall’ but saw better fish on our beach. The food was buffet style and very good as was the service. We loved our 7 night stay and have booked to return this December.” -hoteltravel