A very popular tourist destination in the recent years, Maldives is an island country located in the Indian Ocean in South Asia. With a population of around 400,000 spanning roughly 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 sq mi) on more than 1,200 small islands, it is the smallest Asian country by both land area and population. What is more, it is also the world’s lowest country: the average ground-level elevation of Maldives is 1.5 meters (4 ft 11 in) above sea level. Even its highest natural point is also the lowest in the world, at 2.4 meters (7 ft 10 in).
Majority of the hundreds of islands in Maldives are less than a meter to two meters above sea level. So, probably it’s obvious: if the sea levels gets higher, and they’ll definitely will, the country will be swallowed by the sea.
The country is well aware of the threat. In 2012, former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed stated that “If carbon emissions were to stop today, the planet would not see a difference for 60 to 70 years. If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be under water in seven years.” He called for more climate change mitigation action while on the American television shows The Daily Show and the Late Show with David Letterman.
Also, in In November 2008, Nasheed announced plans to look into purchasing new land in India, Sri Lanka, and Australia because of his concerns about the issue. “We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugees living in tents for decades,” he said.
By 2020, Maldives plans to eliminate or offset all of its greenhouse gas emissions. Photo: komandoo.com