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James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

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Maldives Buying Land in Australia as Preparation for Mass Migration

The Maldives Archipelago is one of the most idyllic destinations on the planet; beautiful tropical islands in the Indian Ocean surrounded by coral reefs abundant with sea life. It is also one of the lowest nations on the planet. About 80% of the 1,200 islands are less than three feet above sea level, so if sea levels rise by 23 inches over the next century, as predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Maldives will disappear beneath the waves. 14 islands have already been abandoned, and the Maldivian population will eventually have to evacuate their country, becoming the first refugee victims of global warming.

Unfortunately, on their own the Maldives can do nothing to combat climate change and prevent rises in sea level, and as a result they must face the reality that they will lose their land. The Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed, says that his people obviously want to remain on the islands, but “moving was an eventuality his government had to plan for.” In the Search for a new home for his countries 350,000 citizens he looked at India and Sri Lanka (due to cultural similarities) but has eventually settled on Australia. Nasheed set up a sovereign savings account, funded by revenue from tourism, with which he has been buying land on high ground because “he did not want his people living in tents for years, or decades, as refugees.”

The island nations of Tuvalu and Kiribati are also facing similar problems and have approached the Australian government to discuss the possibility of immigration assistance, hoping that they could move their entire nations to Australia, but thanks to their president the Maldives are one step ahead in as much as they will already own their own land and will therefore not require the bureaucratic generosity of other nations.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

 



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  • Mark on March 20 2012 said:
    The article is great... but it is time for Ausies to think where are they buying land? Are they going to flock together?

    And most of all... as far as I know they are an Islamic nation... What guarantee that they can give that they will spread and establish their hostile Islamic views and practices in Australia...

    In my view, Good to hold on to your culture and religious views as long as they try not to be possessive of it... and avoid mixing with the rest
  • Jennifer on January 24 2012 said:
    Excellent article, let me write a couple of words on social & legal context

    So if an island nation is submerged beneath the ocean, does it maintain its membership in the United Nations? Who is responsible for the citizens? Do they travel on its passport? Who claims and enforces offshore mineral and fishing rights in waters around a submerged nation? International law currently has no answers to such questions.

    United Nations Ambassador Phillip Muller of the Marshall Islands said there is no sense of urgency to find not only those answers, but also to address the causes of climate change, which many believe to be responsible for rising ocean levels.

    “Even if we reach a legal agreement sometime soon, which I don’t think we will, the major players are not in the process,” Muller said.

    Those players, the participants said, include industrial nations such as the United States and China that emit the most carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases. Many climate scientists say those gases are responsible for global warming. Mary-Elena Carr of Columbia University’s Earth Institute said what is now an annual sea level rise of a few millimeters will increase dramatically by the year 2100. “The biggest challenge is to preserve their nationality without a territory,” said Bogumil Terminski from Geneva. International legal experts are discovering climate change law, and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is a case in point: The Polynesian archipelago is doomed to disappear beneath the ocean. Now lawyers are asking what sort of rights citizens have when their homeland no longer exists.
    t present, however, there appear to be at least three possibilities that could advance the international debate about ‘climate refugee’ protections and fill existing gaps in international law.

    The first option is to revise the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees to include climate (or environmental) refugees and to offer legal protections similar to those for refugees fleeing political persecution. A second, more ambitious option is to negotiate a completely new convention, one that would try to guarantee specific rights and protections to climate or environmental ‘refugees

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