Archive for Climate Change

Bluepeace Launches “SAVE ATOLL MANGROVE ECOSYSTEMS” Campaign on World Environment Day 2011

 

World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round but climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.

Through World Environment Day, the UN Environment Programme is able to personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development.

The theme for this year is ‘Forests-Nature At Your Service’ and Bluepeace has launched the ‘Save Atoll Mangrove Ecosystems’ campaign.

Mangrove ecosystems are highly productive contributing to the food chains of atoll islands. They are also important to the atoll ecosystems, as they filter out silt, nutrients and sand that would otherwise go out to the house reef around the islands, suffocate corals and encourage algal growth. They play a key role in our battle against climate change, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere while storing carbon dioxide.

Without these mangroves many deaths and more destruction from the deadly Asian Tsunami of 2004 could have occurred in many islands in the Maldives.

Mangroves in the Maldives has never been properly studied, already scientists have indicated that atoll mangroves ecosystems might have medically important organisms that might be cures for deadly diseases.

Mangrove Ecosystems are ecological hotspots rich in biodiversity and nursing grounds for milk fish an economically important species that is traditionally harvested in islands as subsistence in rainy season. They are also and important resting ground for migratory birds, and native wetland birds providing them safe shelter, clean water and guaranteed food sources.

Recently short-term investments in non-traditional commercial aquaculture for immediate gains are transforming mangrove ecosystems into salt marshes causing irreversible damage and destruction in the Maldives.  Many precious and rare species face extinction and biodiversity is being obliterated. This trend has caused a tremendous toll on the fragile mangrove ecosystem which in many islands are not properly managed and often used as garbage dumps.

Bluepeace strongly calls the government and other stakeholders to take urgent measures to protect this rich biodiversity mangrove ecosystems from destruction, declare these wetlands as nature reserves and for the Maldives to become a party to the Wetland Convention and Bonn Convention on Migrative species.

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BLUEPEACE JOINS GLOBAL WORK PARTY BY LAUNCHING NURTURE PROJECT

On 10/10/10 (Sunday, 10 October 2010), Bluepeace, the first environmental organization formed in the Maldives, joined the Global Work Party by launching its project NURTURE. The objective of this project is to increase the awareness of young children – and through them their families – on the impacts of climate change, teach them adaptation and mitigation methods and preparing the future generations of Maldivians for an uncertain future. Bluepeace decided to launch NURTURE on 10/10/10 to join thousands of people around the world who were organising events on that day to show that the global citizens were serious about the climate crisis.


Photo: Ismail Moosa Fikry (Isee)

The event started at 4.30 pm at Hulhumale Pre-School. The assembly of children and parents then moved to the eastern beach of Hulhumale, where they started work, with the Indian Ocean as the backdrop. Bluepeace gave a small plant and a pot to each child. The children then started working, assisted by their teachers, by planting the seedlings in pots.

Bluepeace explained to the children that they were joining thousands of other children and adults from across the planet who were celebrating this day to find solutions to the impacts of climate change. Bluepeace told the children that planting trees is important to safeguard the islands of the Maldives as the coastal vegetation reduces the impacts of wave action. Bluepeace also highlighted the significance of plants in absorbing carbon di-oxide.


Photo: Ahmed Eagan


Photo: Ahmed Eagan

At the end of the event each child got one pot of plant to take home, to nurture and take care of for a few months before planting it at a designated location. Bluepeace will monitor the growth of the plants, and will provide important information to the children and parents on how to take care of the plants.

Hulhumale – the location of this event – is an entirely artificial island created by filling a lagoon, and it is higher than the average height of islands in the Maldives, offering more protection from natural disasters such as tidal waves. Raised islands such as Hulhumale may be common in the future, as the low-lying island nation of the Maldives starts the real battle against climate change and rising seas. It is not certain if such adaptation measures will save the future generations of Maldivians or if they will have to migrate to higher lands, leaving behind the balmy waters and white sandy beaches.

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AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG MALDIVIANS

Do you care about the impact of Climate Change on people and the environment? Do you want to make a difference? Here’s an opportunity to prove your dedication and commitment.

British Council is now inviting applications from Maldivian youth for the 2010 International Climate Champions programme. Three Maldivian youth will have the opportunity to join the existing champions from Sri Lanka and India and be a part of the growing global network of over 3000 dedicated Climate Champions across 60 countries.

As a British Council International Climate Champion, you will raise awareness, address impacts through a project and contribute to the growing international consensus on the need to tackle climate change. British Council will support you with training and guidance, as well as opportunities to meet with decision makers, but the ideas and time will come from you.

WHO CAN APPLY?

If you:
- are a Maldivian citizen
- are aged between 18 and 25 years as at 7 October 2010 and have a climate change project idea that could make a lasting impact on your community, nationally or internationally

HOW TO APPLY

Please go to this page on British Council website to find details of applying online or offline.

A briefing session on the application process and other details of the programme will be held at British Council in Male on Thursday, 30 September 2010 from 10.30 am – 12.30 pm. The address is:
British Council, 1st Floor, National Library (located in the new museum building at Medhuziyaaraiy Magu behind MNDF Headquarters. It is not the main museum building at Chandhanee Magu)

For more information on the International Climate Champions programme please contact Ms Thushara Gunasekera, Assistant Manager, Programme Delivery, British Council. email: thushara.gunasekera@britishcouncil.org, tg193@hotmail.com

Update: (7 October 2010). The age limit for application has been extended to 25 now. The application deadline has been extended to October 10.

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