10 Nov 2008:
Maldives Eyes New Homeland In Face of Rising Sea Levels
Faced with rising ocean waters that could eventually inundate much of their island nation, the Republic of Maldives
will invest a portion of the country’s annual budget
in a fund to buy a new homeland, its new president told The Guardian
. Mohamed Nasheed, a human rights activist who was elected last month, said his country must be prepared for the worst, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting that sea levels could rise up to 59 centimeters (23 inches) by 2100. Other experts forecast that sea level increases could be even greater, perhaps more than 1 meter (3.3 feet). That would be particularly dire for the Maldives, a chain of 1,200 islands and coral atolls south of India’s Lakshadweep Islands where much of the land is just 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) above sea level. “We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugees living in tents for decades,” said Nasheed. He said he will create a “sovereign wealth fund” from tourist dollars. Among possible countries where the Maldives population might be relocated are Sri Lanka and India, which share similar cultures with the island nation.
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