My first ever guest post and it’s written by Maldivian born and raised Ahmed Shareef who looks at the shifting sands of the Maldive beaches…
Maldives are the poster child of a sinking world. If the world is to be inundated by rise sea-levels, the low lying Maldives, will be the first to go under. The islands of Maldives are about a metre above sea level. Now the question is if it is really sinking or is it a myth? What can the Maldivians do if it is really sinking?
In the Maldives, and you can experience the changes taking place every few years. I’m not a scientist. But, I have been travelling around in Maldives for nearly 15 years and I could notice some obvious changes to the climate. Many islands of the Maldives suffer soil erosion making them considerably smaller in the past 20 years.The place that was once beach where we played beach volley is now a part of the lagoon. Its speed is not fast, but the islands being so small, the small change seems to make a big impact on the country, over a span of many years.
Another effect of the global warming is coral bleaching. Tip of the colourful coral becomes whitish and dies. Again this is not common and usually happens in the hottest periods of year and in some particular reefs that are shallow enough to be affected. Corals are an important of the island ecosystem. Some scientists believe coral could help the islands tackle sea level rise while some don’t event believe in sinking theory.
The islands that suffer soil erosion are erecting barriers to protect sand. The capital Male’ itself has a protection wall all around. The protection mechanism is largely based on the effects. Government has limited funds and it is giving priority to worst-hit islands. Most of the inhabited islands currently have some form of protection against soil erosion, sea swells etc. But, it is usually not enough to protect the entire island.
From my current observation and government’s stance, there is a remarkable chance of Maldives getting submerged in coming 200 years. In the last stage the Maldives would probably pump sand from island to another to form higher land for people to live. This way Maldives could last for more centuries and ultimately may end up in a water village with floating houses and speedboats for transport. It is highly unlikely that the residents would abandon the beautiful paradise, even after many centuries.
About the Author: I was born and raised in the Maldives. Joined a resort as front desk assistance in 2001 and been moving to different resorts and cruises. Prior to starting my first job, I was cruising and visiting different islands for fun. I got weekends to enjoy like that during my studies. After working for many years currently I am doing freelance works for resorts and travel companies.