The Maldives, aiming to be a zero-carbon nation by 2020 ahead of any other country, is like a ‘lab’ of technology for the world where future ways of reducing carbon into the atmosphere is developed here before being implementing across the world, writes Feizal Samath for Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times.
A two-day technology road-show in Male, the capital on May 9-10 which brought industry, technocrats and government officials from 22 countries including the five largest economies in the world – US, China, Japan, India and Germany, showcasing technological advances and knowledge.
President Mohamed Nasheed and Environment Minister Mohamed Aslam attended the event with Miss Universe 2005, Natalie Glebova.
According to Tourism Minister, Mariyam Zulfa, the Ministry recently signed a MoU with Swiss-based myclimate to prepare a strategy for voluntary carbon offsetting measures. “We will be looking at things like developing a model eco island as a resort of the future. We are working on the carbon footprint. While the airlines will look after themselves, the resorts are also looking at renewable energy for most of their needs,” she said adding however that the biggest challenge is the diesel that goes into generators which are used by all resorts.
If in 2010 it was worry about islands sinking, then this year the climate change-savvy country says there are much more serious issues.
“Sea level is rising but that’s not our main challenge,” noted Aslam, adding that shifting of islands when the sea level rises is a more complex issue.
“The islands are a dynamic feature and when sea level rises there would be changes. If you look at the morphology (structure of organism) these islands sit within a reef system. As the water level rises the hydrodynamics within the reef system will also change.