Maldives plans to buy new homeland

Maldives plans to buy new homeland

There is at least one item on the Maldives’ president’s agenda that can be found on no other across the world. Newly-elected president
Mohamed ‘Anni’ Nasheed said in an interview on Monday his government would begin saving to buy a new homeland in case global warming caused the country to disappear into the sea.

Beloved by tourists for white sandy beaches, palm trees and clear waters, the 1,192 coral islands that make up the Indian Ocean country risk devastation from rising sea levels due to climate change.

Nasheed, who won the Maldives’ first democratic presidential election last month, told The Guardian his government will start putting aside part of its billion-dollar annual tourism income. ‘‘We can do nothing to stop climate change on our own, so we have to buy land elsewhere. It’s an insurance policy for the worst possible outcome,’’ he said.

The UN forecasts that the seas are likely to rise by up to 59cm by 2100. Most parts of the Maldives are just 1.5m above water. ‘‘We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugees living in tents for decades.’’

Nasheed said he had already broached the subject with some countries and found them ‘‘receptive’’. India and Sri Lanka are targets because of similar cultures and climates, while Australia is also an option. He intends to create a ‘‘sovereign wealth fund’’, much like Arab states have with oil revenues. ‘‘Kuwait might invest in companies — we will invest in land,’’ he said.

Source : Times Of India

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