In order to prevent the continued rising of sea levels that would put much of the Maldives underwater, Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed has become a leader in the campaign against global warming. To show the strength of his commitment, he plans to make the Maldives a carbon neutral nation (meaning they either emit no carbon or rely on carbon offsets to bring their net emissions to zero) by 2020. Of course, being such a small island and small population, this won’t in and of itself have a huge impact on climate change; but it is clear that Nasheed hopes to both draw attention to the importance of such a commitment to his nation, as well as set an example for the rest of the world. In the event that his campaign is unsuccessful, the Maldivian president is also looking into purchasing land in India, or possibly eslewhere, so that his country will at least have somewhere to go if the land disappears.
The Republic of Maldives, a series of islands off the coast of India is one country that is in serious threat of climate change. With an average altitude of 1.5 meters they are in immediate threat of any climate change related sea level rising. Due to their precarious position they are actively involved in any and all efforts related to slowing climate change. One of the biggest steps they have taken is to drastically reduce any emission of greenhouse gases.
Their president, Mohamed Nasheed, also states that residents and city officials are helping out by building sea walls, revetments and shore protection to protect from erosion and even the smallest of storm surges. Since sea walls are so expensive and the Maldives have a little over 1,100 islands though, the government is also investigating the use of ‘soft engineering’ methods like protecting the coral reef of each island (which acts as a natural sea wall) and supporting the vegetation that grows along each island’s shoreline which also naturally aids in shore erosion.
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