Sea levels are rising, and the Maldives is taking notice. An estimated 80 percent of the atoll nation is no more than 3 feet above sea level, so climate change has been a popular topic with Maldives' president Mohamed Nasheed. The Independent reports that Nasheed, who has already led an underwater cabinet meeting in scuba gear to bring attention to his country’s dilemma, has proposed a floating golf course and convention center for his aquatic nation.
The Indian Ocean island nation has signed an agreement with Dutch Docklands, which will being researching the possibility of the resort which will include floating homes. The company has previously built man-made islands in Dubai. Dutch Docklands claims that it has hundreds of years of experience in the battle against water in the Netherlands, another low-lying nation.
It couldn’t come at a better time. The Maldives is especially sensitive to rising waters, as the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami showed. After that catastrophe, the Independent reports that up to 40 percent of the Maldives was left lying under water and 100 people were killed.
The catastrophe prompted the government to take action, and the lowest-lying islands have already begun developing evacuation plans. Kandholhudhoo is one of the more densely populated islands, and it reports that 60 percent of residents have volunteered to evacuate within the next 15 years. The government has also announced plans to turn the Maldives in a carbon-neutral nation within 10 years. The atoll nation recently outlawed shark fishing in an effort to preserve the nation’s shark population.
Nasheed has assured the world that the latest eco-project will preserve the delicate balance of the sea and land. In a statement about his country’s proposed development, he writes, “The methods and procedures developed by the company for floating developments reduce the impact on underwater life, and minimize the changes to coastal morphology.”
For further reading:
- Mind the water hazard … floating golf course to be built on the Maldives
- Shark fishing banned in the Maldives