The Maldives will divert cash from tourism, to buy land in case rising sea levels submerge its low-lying coral islands, the vice-president-elect said. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik said the “worst-case scenario due to sea level rise would be that some or even all of our islands would become uninhabitable and we would have to look for alternative places for Maldivians to live.”
Eighty per cent of the Maldives’ 1,200 islands – of which 200 are inhabited – are less than a metre above sea level. Studies have said the Indian Ocean state could be submerged within 100 years.
The government of Mohamed Nasheed will be sworn in on 11 November 2008 after the country’s first democratic election, ending 30 years of authoritarian rule by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the president.
Mr Gayoom, who has been accused of human rights abuses and criticised for his tight control over the nation’s 380,000 residents, has raised the link between climate change and the human rights of potentially displaced citizens in international forums.
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Source: Financial Times