Climate Change in the Maldives
Climate Change has recently become an increasingly significant issue among both the people of Maldives and the international community concerned with the fact that the Maldives will be one of the first nations severely affected by the phenomenon. These concerns led to climate change being addressed recently in a meeting held between the leader of Maldives, President Mohamed Nasheed, and the Indian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Mr. Shyam Saran.
How is Climate Change affecting the Maldives
The Maldives, an island country made up of atolls comprising a total of 1,192 islands, is known for being the lowest country in the world, where the highest land is only 2.3 m (7½ ft) above sea level, and the national average is just 1.5 m above sea level. Over the last century, global sea levels have risen about 20 centimetres (8 in) because of climate change and further rises of the ocean are predicted, which could seriously threaten the existence of Maldives. In November 2008, President Mohamed Nasheed expressed his concerns about global warming and the possibility of many of the islands being inundated with water from rising sea levels.
India also affected by Climate Change
Noting not only that the fate of both the Maldives and India are linked to climate change, but also that any drastic change threatens the survival of millions of people living in the coastal areas of said countries, both President Nasheed and Special Envoy Mr. Shyam Saran agreed that both Maldives and India could work together in combating climate change.
Climate Change Policies
Presenting several of the Indian government’s policies on environment and climate change, the President was encouraged by their efforts and further stressed the importance of cooperation and support between both countries in working against the threats of climate change. President Nasheed also praised the Indian government’s policies to support new technological advancements in the field of renewable energy, believing that India and Indian companies could be a leader in the field of renewable energy and environment-friendly technologies.
Adaptation was also a topic dwelled upon by the President and the Special envoy, and they discussed that the aim adaptation should be to find ways of achieving better standards of living through sustainable development. Praising the Maldives and its policies on adaptation, both parties found that both countries possessed similar policies on the subject.
As a final note, Special Envoy Saran added that India was prepared to share its new environmentally-friendly and renewable energy technologies with the Maldives. The meeting was indeed a fruitful one, and it concluded with discussions of how to further strengthen the relations between the Maldives and India, and agreeing on a policy of helping each other in the fight against climate change.