As all Maldivian’s, I have been reading a lot lately on the effects of climate change and what that means for the Maldives.
The most recent article I read on the subject was “To Escape Rising Seas, Maldives President May Move His Entire Island Nation to Australia” (http://t.co/FDscW2OE).
It was a very thought provoking article (along with the comments/discussion at the end) on http://www.treehugger.com about what we Maldivian’s would do after the scientific prophecy of apocalyptic climate change scenario and indeed the Maldives does disappear underneath the waves of an unforgiving ocean.
It has been suggested that we Maldivian’s would en-masse move to Australia. And that we were saving up for a “sovereign fund” to assist us in that relocation.
So what will this sovereign fund be used for in this environmental refugee situation of the Maldives?
I would assume that we will be using it to;
* Buy land in another country (in this case Australia) and move our entire population there.
So how much money are we exactly talking about here?
Will this sovereign fund get us;
1. New land that is absolutely ours for the rest of eternity?
2. Can it build us infrastructure for a society to live in that piece of land?
3. Will this include housing, schools, hospitals, economic facilities etc, everything that a society would need for it to sustain itself.
4. Can that land declare itself a sovereign country, i.e. The Republic of Maldives?
5. Can we have our own government, our own laws, elected officials and representatives?
6. Can we have our own defense and security (army and police)?
7. Basically everything else that an independent country would have.
Or, will we be subjected to the rules and regulations of the host country and that our sovereign fund be merely used to relocate us to our host country (again Australia in this case), pay their taxes and become part of that community?
Where would we live in this case? Would the government of Australia provide us with refugee housing facilities or would we by our own housing with our sovereign fund?
Would we end up being dispersed or would we remain together as one community?
Can we keep our own identity and citizenship of Maldives or would we need to adopt identities more acceptable to the host country?
What about other possible social implications between the host country and us in this kind of a worlds first situation? How will this be addressed?
Would we end up being another Israel in the middle of another country, engaged in daily conflict merely to survive existentially? Can we bare the human cost of such a scenario?
At the moment we are still struggling for our democracy against a rogue elitist group of our own people who intends to enslave the Maldivian population to advance their economic and power interests.
Can we Maldivian’s handle this much conflict, doom and bad-luck that has been put upon us?
Can the Maldives be saved from such a terrible fate? Can the worlds economic powerhouses slow down for just a moment to address the imminent environmental catastrophe that is about to befall on the entire human species? Global warning and climate change is after all a byproduct of our own advancement as a race.
While I am comforted by the idea that some country will play host to the first environmental refugees of climate change when we become them, I am deeply disturbed by the lack of dialogue on the issues that I have raised here before we begin to discuss entire relocation of our whole society.
I tremble in fear as I watch the unfolding of the hand that has been dealt to the Maldives and it’s people!