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'We can't wait': Maldives desperate for funds as islands risk going under

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'We can't wait': Maldives desperate for funds as islands risk going under

By Alasdair Pal, Devjyot Ghoshal

 

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FILE PHOTO: An areal view shows a resort island in the Maldives December 14, 2009. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause/File Photo

 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The tropical Maldives may lose entire islands unless it can quickly access cheap financing to fight the impact of climate change, its foreign minister said.

 

The archipelago’s former president Mohamed Nasheed famously held a cabinet meeting underwater to draw attention to submerging land and global warming a decade ago.

 

Yet the Maldives, best known for its white sands and palm-fringed atolls that draw luxury holiday-makers, has struggled to find money to build critical infrastructure like sea-walls.

 

“For small states, it is not easy,” Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid told Reuters in New Delhi. “By the time the financing is obtained, we may be underwater.”

 

At the U.N. climate talks in Madrid in December, the Maldives and other vulnerable countries pushed for concrete progress on fresh funding to help them deal with disasters and longer-term damage linked to climate change - but failed.

 

Shahid was hopeful the next round of talks, slated to take place in Glasgow in November, would yield better results.

 

One of the world’s lowest-lying countries, more than 80% of the Maldives’ land is less than one meter above mean sea levels, making its population of around 530,000 people extremely vulnerable to storm surges, sea swells and severe weather.

 

In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami ravaged the Muslim-majority state, causing financial losses of around $470 million - 62% of GDP - and hitting infrastructure, including its only international airport that was shut for several days.

 

‘WE NEED IT’

 

Two of the country’s main industries - tourism and fishing - are heavily dependent on coastal resources, and most settlements and critical infrastructure is concentrated along the coast.

 

In 2014, more than 100 of the archipelago’s inhabited islands were already reporting erosion, and around 30 islands are identified as severely eroded.

 

The Maldives spends around $10 million annually for coastal protection works, but will need up to $8.8 billion in total to shield all of its inhabited islands, according to a 2016 estimate by its environment ministry.

 

“In order to protect the islands, we need to start building sea walls,” Shahid said. “It’s expensive, but we need it. We can’t wait until all of them are being taken away.”

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-17

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Off topic posts and replies have been removed. 

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As much as I like south sea islands, the facts are that they come and go throughout the eons.  The earth never sits still.   Like the islands, I suggest that the people move as well.  I trust that there are many Muslim countries that will take in the micro populations of these islands.

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Well, the last government was pretty corrupt and got involved in the Belt and Road initiative. China built them a massive bridge between Male and Hulumale that was not needed and they can't afford. Blow up that bridge, stop paying China and use that money more wisely.

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Hasn't it "been sinking" for the last thirty years but incredibly it's still there? How long will they keep banging this same drum?

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18 hours ago, The Old Bull said:

They only cater to high end tourists, no backpackers so <deleted> em.

 

https://readme.me/p/21352

 

Quote

Expenses:

1. Hotel is 7,800 THB.

2. Flight ticket is 14,700 THB.

3. A round trip speed boat is 1,500 THB.

4. 3 days of snorkeling trip is 3,560 THB.

5. SUP Paddle boarding is 620 THB.

6. A new SIM card of 22 GB internet is 680 THB.

7. Food is 4,600 THB and other expenses. The budget for this trip is about 34,000 THB including everything.

 

This thai guy had a blast for his budget, but it's ok - carry on the hate /o/

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On 1/18/2020 at 8:52 AM, johnmcc6 said:

They keep building new islands  currently boasting 9 new ones run by Thai brewery Singha . If they and other developers are  not worried about so called rising sea levels and spend millions of dollars on new developments each year perhaps there is no real hard threat of rising sea levels after all? Just another excuse for the government to rake in and waste other peoples money?

Or maybe, if you're a business, and you see that an island won't be habitable, in say, 50 years, that should still give you plenty of time to make a hefty profit on your investment. Wouldn't it?

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They only want to scam the cash.  Don’t give them anything 

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