Global Warming Causing the Maldives to Buy New Homeland?

  • Published on November 10th, 2008

Global warming could cause a lot of islands to be covered by the rising ocean. But what do you do if that island is your country and home? President Mohamed “Anni”  Nasheed of the Maldives has an answer: move your country.

On Monday, Nasheed told The Guardian that he would start setting aside some cash to buy a new homeland if he loses his to global warming. The money would come from the country’s tourism industry, which brings in a billion dollars annually, and would go into a sovereign wealth fund, reports Australia’s

Australia is on the shortlist of possible real estate. So is India and Sri Lanka because they are like the Maldives culturally.

While out there, this may be the only reasonable idea for the island country that doesn’t have the political backing to have much say in international global warming policy. The other option, according to the old Maldives president, is to build a wall around the island. But apparently that’s more expensive than relocating an entire country.

This is most definitely an adaptation strategy – the Maldives are looking beyond merely stopping carbon emissions. But small countries may not have any choice anymore.

Is it time for drastic action like this? Or will this drastic action put a stop to mitigation techniques because politicians will just look for the easy way out (if moving a homeland can be considered the easy way!)?

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Photo Credit: naxief at Flickr under a Creative Commons License

About the Author

My name is Amanda, and I'm a recent grad from Michigan State University. At MSU I was involved in the environmental journalism program and have written for the school's environmental journal and E, The Environmental Magazine. I'm delving into freelancing now, and will spend the summer in NYC as an intern at NYC Parks and Recreation.