Climate Change in the Maldives


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A presentation on Climate Change in the Maldives made at a workshop for journalists organized by UNDP Maldives.

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Climate Change in the Maldives

  1. 1. Climate Change in the Maldives by Ahmed Siyah, CBDRR Project Officer
  2. 2. “Climate Change is the greatest threat facing humanity. It threatens to undo 50 years of development work and it will impact the poor in the greatest sense.” Ban Ki Moon UN SG 2
  3. 3. What is Climate Change? “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods“ -- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 3
  4. 4. Climate Change reality • Warming of the climate is unequivocal • Increase in global average temperature is due to anthropogenic green house gases (CO2, Methane, N2O, Water vapour, Ozone, CFC) • Changes in the climate in the 21st century will be greater than in the 20th century • Past emissions will cause warming and sea level rise for more than a millennium 4
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. Importance of CCA Sustainable Development Disaster Risk Reduction Climate Change Adaptation 6
  7. 7. The Maldivian context • Highest elevation 1.5m above sea level. • 88 inhabited islands face perennial beach erosion. • Wide dispersal of population across very small islands. • Extremely high economic dependence on tourism and fisheries. • High import dependence. 7
  8. 8. The Maldivian context • Global mean sea level rose 10 – 20cm during 20th Century at the rate of 1-2 mm/year. • Between 1990 to 2100 it is projected that the sea level would rise up to 59 cm. • The is more than enough to inundate large areas of our country. 8
  9. 9. Vulnerability 1. Exposure – in harm’s way 2. Sensitivity – susceptible to damage 3. Adaptive capacity – social and economic capacity 9
  10. 10. Climate Change effects • • • • • Sea level rise Stronger storms Sea surface temperature rise Coral bleaching Change is weather patterns 10
  11. 11. Climate Change is a Social Problem • Human activities produce the emissions (we caused this problem) • Everyone is not at equal risk • Not all people or groups are equally responsible 11
  12. 12. Climate Change is a Social Problem • It puts at risk things that we value • Responding to climate change requires social change and social justice 12
  13. 13. Social risks from Climate Change • Risks to basic needs – Health – Food security – Clean water • Risks to development – Infrastructure, resources and environment – Economy – Cost of living 13
  14. 14. Social risks from Climate Change • Risks to society – Land loss – Forced migration – Risk to culture 14
  15. 15. Causes of social vulnerability • Wealth • Voice • Gender • Conflict 15
  16. 16. What is Climate Change Adaptation? Adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. It refers to changes in processes, practices, and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change. 16
  17. 17. Social vulnerability is easier to change than the environmental causes and effects The capacity of the community to adapt to change, self-organize, act and learn from experience, factors which ultimately enable communities to mobilise their assets and resources depends on their resilience. 17
  18. 18. A resilient community • 1. … is knowledgeable and healthy. It has the ability to assess, manage, and monitor its risks. It can learn new skills and build on past experiences. • 2. …is organized. It has the capacity to identify problems, establish priorities, and act. • 3. … is connected. It has relationships with external actors (family friends, faith groups, government) who provide a wider supportive environment, and supply goods and services when needed. • 4. … has infrastructure and services. It has strong housing, transport, power, water, and sanitation systems. It has the ability to maintain, repair, and renovate them. • 5. … has economic opportunities. It has a diverse range of employment opportunities, income and financial services. It is flexible, resourceful and has the capacity to accept uncertainty and respond (proactively) to change. • 6. … can manage its natural assets. It recognizes their value and has the ability to protect, enhance and maintain them. 18
  19. 19. Role of media in CCA • • • • Inform Educate Increase visibility Advocate • Media has to be – Credible – Factual 19
  20. 20. Dimensions of CC • …and gender • …and National Security • …and Culture and Social Transformation • … and Sustainable Development, economy, livelihoods 20