President Mohamed Nasheed has been described as ‘Best International Politician‘ in a series of Green Awards published by the Independent, a left-leaning UK newspaper.
“In a catastrophic year for the climate crisis, were there any heroes?” the newspaper says, in reference to the Copenhagen talks.
“A handful of politicians will be remembered for trying to do the right thing… The most inspiring leader was Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives. ‘We are on the world’s front line,’ he says. And, in a sense, its only hope.'”
The newspaper praised Nasheed’s pledge to make the Maldives carbon-neutral by 2020, and his warnings “that we all have to make this transition – and fast.”
In receiving the Independent’s green award for politics, Nasheed joins the ranks of best supermarket (Marks&Spencer), best product (LED light bulb), and best UK village (Coleshill).
The President’s Spokesman Mohamed Zuhair said the award “is very welcome. The President is delighted.”
He said the award was a reflection on the whole country and came at a time when the President had been accused “of running a one man show.”
Zuhair disagreed that the President’s massive international popularity was not mirrored locally.
“There is huge respect [in the Maldives] for his efforts in combating beach erosion, building embankments and visiting vulnerable islands,”
Moreover, Zuhair said, the award promoted “positive public perception” of the Maldives that would “translate to more visitors.”
“It helps that the Indpendent is published in our largest tourism market, the UK,” Zuhair said.