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Maldives appeals for international community’s collaboration as the country embarks on an ambitious programme of low carbon footprint

Maldives on sustainable developmentThe Maldives has requested the international community to enter into collaborative arrangements as the country embarks on an ambitious programme of low carbon footprint. The appeal was made by Ambassador Ahmed Sareer, Charge’ d’affaires, during a statement delivered at the United Nations General Assembly at the Second Committee under agenda item on Sustainable Development.

In his statement, he noted that while Hurricane Sandy caused loss of life and devastation to the Caribbean and North America in the previous week, the Maldives was experiencing unprecedented weather attributed by Cyclone Neelam in the Bay of Bengal causing extensive damage to people’s livelihoods and critical infrastructure in many islands in the Republic. Referring to the extraordinary events of floods, drought, heat waves and blizzards all over the world this year, he was critical of the skeptics among the scientific community for their denial of relating these unusual events to climate change.

Ambassador Sareer noted that the Maldives had raised the international community’s attention to the threat it may cause from unprecedented storms and sea level rise due to climate change two and half decades ago, and that it has now become a global issue.  For the Maldives, climate change has been the most challenging developmental issue and has posed as a threat to the country’s survival.

Although the Maldives’ contribution of Greenhouse Gas concentration accounts less than 0.01% to global emission, the country has embarked upon an ambitious commitment towards achieving low carbon economy. He highlighted the government’s investment programme designed to transform the country’s energy sector to renewable energy from solar, wind and waste.

The Maldives, in its statement, noted that the recently concluded UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio, popularly known as Rio+20, provided a glimmer of hope for Maldives and other low-lying countries because the Conference made many concrete recommendations for implementation relating to small island states such as on sea level rise, coastal erosion, coral bleaching, and ocean acidification.

Ambassador Sareer’s statement concluded with the hope that the forthcoming 18th session of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Doha next month would make good progress in the implementation of the delicate package on climate change issues endorsed in COP 17 in Durban.

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