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Small islands between tourism economy and climate change | Work

New York (AP) — Visit Maldives. The President of Maldives This year’s UN General Assembly, The moment before switching to a fervent plea to support the fight against climate change. Adjacent appeals represent a central dilemma in many small island developing states.

The United Nations recognizes 38 member states scattered throughout the world’s waters. Small Island Developing States They were grouped together because they face “unique social, economic and environmental challenges”.

This block is particularly vulnerable to climate change. This block is also particularly dependent on the tourism industry. According to Sustainable Tourism expert Stephen Gesling, it is an important driver of climate change, accounting for only 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. And the industry was devastated By an ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The plight faced by these islands is recursive in nature. It attracts tourists for economic survival, which contributes to climate change, whitening colorful reefs and destroying pristine beaches that attract tourists. At present, by the end of the century, these lowland islands could be completely drowned.

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees is the death penalty in the Maldives,” President Ibrahim Mohamedsori told the UN General Assembly last week.

The annual summit is an opportunity for each of the 193 members of international organizations to be in the limelight on the world stage. However, the Maldives, the world’s best-known playground in the Indian Ocean for rich honeymooners and Bollywood celebrities, has received particular attention this year. The Foreign Minister chaired the General Assembly, and Sori was speaking third overall — Immediately after US President Joe Biden.

But climate change is fascinating Nothing new, made every year As the April Baptists at Colgate University state, these islands are hit by storms and the ocean rises like a “slow-moving murderer.”

Baptists are professors of environmental studies as well as Africanina and Latin American studies, studying environmental justice in the Caribbean region. She says the island state’s complaint was considered “essential” in nature and has been ignored for years. With little land, political power, and financial capital, it was easy to overlook their plight. These are also islands with centuries of exploitation history, states where full-time residents rather than tourists are predominantly black and brown.

“You have a layer of race, racism, and limits to consider,” she said. “I absolutely believe that it is at the heart of the conversation why small island developing states are not taken seriously.”

In recent years, people and governments have put the problem in their hands.

A man from Kiribati, an island nation, sought refugee status in New Zealand because climate change poses an existential threat to his hometown, but was eventually deported. Last week, Vanuatu announced that it was aiming to bring climate change to the International Court of Justice. Although largely symbolic (no judgment is legally binding), the move aims to clarify international law, as the government intends.

Last month, a group of Pacific island nations worked to destroy crops and invade saltwater that pollutes freshwater supplies, leaving traditional maritime boundaries intact as coastlines shrink under waves. Declared that.

Gössling, a professor of business economics at Linnaeus University in Sweden, and Daniel Scott, a professor of geography and environmental management at the University of Waterloo in Canada, are the two authors of the Climate Change Vulnerability Index for Tourism. With the aim of drawing the attention of policy makers on this issue, they have identified the tourism economies at the highest risk of climate change. Small Island Developing States made up a significant part of the list.

“The Maldives identified a few years ago and pointed out:” We intend to continue tourism development as it is the only way we can make money in the next few decades before the island is lost. “Scott said.

For small island developing states, this central climate change tension between life and livelihood is reflected in the coronavirus’s response to the pandemic. To prevent the spread of the virus and save lives, they closed their borders and, accordingly, the tourism-focused economy has been devastated over the last 18 months.

Mauritius is not entirely dependent on tourism, but its sector accounts for a significant portion of foreign revenue, says the UN Permanent Representative on a small Indian Ocean island east of Madagascar. .. The border will fully reopen in October, and Mauritius hopes to attract 650,000 tourists from that time to next summer, Jagdish Koonjul said.

Mauritius is “very lucky” compared to others in the block because of its economic diversification, relatively high land and coral reefs that prevent erosion, Kuhnjour said.

But it is not safe from climate change. Mauritius and other small island developing states have become larger and more industrialized countries. United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

“We are now missing this train and are destined,” said Kuhnjour.

Speech scores at this year’s UN General Assembly tended to follow the rubric. They started with pleasures directed at the President and then touched on the laundry list on the topic: perhaps pet issues, but definitely conflict, coronavirus and climate change. Rhetoric was often mixed, but speeches from leaders of small island developing states stood out with a striking eloquence that echoed in Coonjour.

“If Tuvalu is finally submerged, will Tuvalu remain a member of the United Nations? Who can help us?” Asked Saturday, Kausea Natano, Prime Minister of the Pacific.

The state asked specific questions, including immediate and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, debt restructuring, and financial support, especially given the impact of the coronavirus on tourism-dependent economies.

“Developed countries are obliged to support the states most affected by climate change because they first caused problems,” said Caribbean Prime Minister Antigua and Barbuda.

On the same day, Prime Ministers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, cast the actions of a great power so far, which was nothing more than a “godly mouth and a slight tweak.”

“In this regard, humanity is at midnight. Can we face the challenge? If we continue to do what we always do, we may not be able to live to find the answer,” said the Prime Minister of the Caribbean. Said.

Saving the economic fate of these countries is complex. Baptists say there is no comprehensive policy aimed at retraining people whose livelihoods are vulnerable to new trade.

And although they are not the culprit behind global warming, Small Island Developing States argues that they are not directly facing the friction between climate change prevention measures and their dependence on tourism. There is.

“I also think that SIDS has never really taken a serious approach to consider different economic sectors, because it focuses on tourism, develops for tourism, and is almost self-evident by definition. Because there are so many, they will become dependent on tourism. ” “And I think it’s weird — this conflict has never been uttered by SIDS.”

What is being voiced is a clear call for substantive action by rich developed countries.Now Impact of climate change Small Island Developing States wants to reach countries that may pretend to have not existed for a long time and finally get the message.

The poet John Donne writes that “people are not the entire island in their own right.” Similarly, Sori brought back what the island nation had claimed over the years. “There is no guarantee of survival in any country in the world where the Maldives is gone.”


Associated Press reporter Nick Perry contributed this report from Wellington, New Zealand. Follow Mallika Sen on Twitter.

Small islands between tourism economy and climate change | Work

Source link Small islands between tourism economy and climate change | Work

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