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Marshall Islands in danger of being overcome by rising sea levels

Star of the day: David Kabua, President of the Marshall Islands, believes his territory will disappear under rising sea levels, by Bhavi Mandalia, September 22, 2020   The Marshall Islands facing rising waters. (HILARY HOSIA / AFP)

David Kabua, 71, president for nine months of the Marschall Islands is worried. This small confetti of land lost in the Pacific Ocean, 180 km², perched just two meters from sea level, is threatened by rising waters. There is not much on the 30 atolls that make up the archipelago, nothing to covet, nothing to export, no natural resources, only small farms, fishing boats and a huge radioactive waste storage site. , memory of the American nuclear tests of the 1960s.

This little piece of land, so coveted during the wars for its strategic location, no longer has any leverage to attract attention. And yet, it will soon no longer appear on the world maps. This is the warning cry launched by David Kabua on Monday September 21 at the UN, a simple cry: “My country will disappear if the world does not keep its promises, those made during the Paris agreement.” He recounted the impact of climate change, the increasingly devastating tides, population evacuations, the intense droughts which generate another plague: swarms of mosquitoes carrying various diseases. And then there is the money that is lacking to build the necessary infrastructure to protect its 75,000 inhabitants. Money promised five years ago, and which does not arrive. Finally, there is worse:“The fact, he said, that industrialized countries continue to finance fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal. We are doing our part, but alone we can do nothing. “

David Kabua addresses the United Nations. The UN that the Marschall Islands joined in 1991 but that they could well leave, in fact, not voluntarily, but by force of circumstances, because the atolls will end up submerged. So he concluded by asking: “Will we still be here for the UN’s 100th anniversary in 2045? How about you? Are you going to help us keep our islands in this world?” In the assembly, the question created a long silence. David Kabua, for his part, has nothing more to give than a warning, a prophecy for all. We know. But we look elsewhere. Hope does exist, however, it is in the motto of the Marschall Islands: “Achievement through joint effort“. And we have 25 years ahead of us.


September 24, 2020 - Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA, oceans

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