Maldives Adaptation

The Maldives are one of the lowest lying nations and therefore are very vulnerable to sea level rise as a result of climate change. The nation has certainly discussed strategies to combat the coming changes however they lack capability of executing certain procedures because they do not have the financial resources or the technological resources to pull them off. Putting up sea walls around inhabited islands is a common solution but this would cost about $1.5 billion to do. That brings us to population consolidation which is a necessary plan if they want to reduce costs of protecting the islands. This would move the population into fewer islands which are at a lower risk for being impacted by sea level rise and would give them less islands to protect. They have several projects in place to try and reach some of the desired outcomes for adaptation. One would be a three phase project which initially appraises coastal erosion and would aim to build capacity of environmental research. Another is a program for fishery conservation measures which would develop appropriate methodologies for assessing  biological costs and impacts. It would also inform  the fishing community and the general public about the importance of reef resource management. Another program involves the development of food security in the Maldives. Its aim is to reduce the dependence of imports and enhance employment and income opportunities.

Sea level rise

Sea level rise

In the NAPA plan for Uganda they discuss a food conservation strategy which is applicable to the Maldives because their local resources are lacking and they want to reduce dependence on imports. Parts of this plan include sun-drying, the use of herbal plants, or the use of honey to preserve meat. Doing these things would help them out financially and economically as well. Bush burning is a strategy discussed in the plan that does not exactly apply to the Maldives as they do not really have the resources to do this. Also they are not a high emitter of CO2.

The natural adaptation of small island ecosystems is not considered in very many national communications. They tend to focus protecting those projected to suffer and rehabilitating those that have already been destroyed. Very little work has been done on the potential impact of climate change on these highly diverse ecosystems. However, the impact on coral reefs is relatively well known. Natural adaptation in coral reefs can occur if they have not been tampered with and destroyed already due to human activities. The interesting thing is that they have an adaptive response system in which they can adapt with the higher sea surface and temperature changes. They can grow upward with the rise in sea level. Restoration and rehabilitation of coral reef ecosystems can be used as adaptation mechanisms to increase natural protection against sea level rise and storms.

The Maldives absolutely need to adapt and mitigate climate change they are at a very high risk of being severely effected by sea level rise as a result of climate change. The problems is that they lack resources and knowledge to combat this problem in the way that they want to. As a majority the nation is very aware and willing to take preventative measure they just need a bit of help along the way to reach these goals. For starters, population consolidation is something that needs to be done right away to set up the next steps for further protecting them from sea level rise.


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