Mohamed Nasheed, ‘The Island President’, keeps fighting climate change

• April 2, 2012
President Nasheed of the Maldives

Creative Commons: Presidency Maldives, 2009

Maldives is going underwater. Literally.

Due to rising sea levels, studies suggest that the country, a chain of nearly 1,200 islands, could be uninhabitable by 2100. What’s the leader of the lowest lying country on Earth to do?

If you’re former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, you pull underwater publicity stunts, aim to become the world’s first carbon-neutral country and allow a documentary crew to follow your desperate attempts to salvage a nation.

Despite having recently been ousted from the presidency in an alleged “coup,” Nasheed led a fervent fight against man-made climate change while in power. “The Island President,” a documentary by filmmaker Jon Shenk, follows Nasheed’s first year as president of the Maldives, culminating in the carbon emissions battle at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit.

Shenk described to The Huffington Post the “wonder of the world” that he found filming in the Maldives. And yet, “you go to the beaches and see that they have to use sandbags to stop the sand eroding. You go to the sea walls and see the water is coming over the walls. It’s a place where climate change is already having an impact.”

One challenge for Nasheed was how to communicate the problems currently apparent in the Maldives to countries where the impacts of climate change are not yet as drastic or visible. “Manhattan is an island,” he said. “If the Maldives have difficulties, Manhattan will have difficulties.”

Read more: Huffington Post >>


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TckTckTck is the online hub for the Global Call for Climate Action. The GCCA represents an unprecedented alliance of more than 400 nonprofit organizations from around the world. Our shared mission is to mobilize civil society and galvanize public support to ensure a safe climate future for people and nature, to promote the low-carbon transition of our economies, and to accelerate the adaptation efforts in communities already affected by climate change.

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