Archive for VULNERABLE


VULNERABLE, the Bluepeace exhibition on the vulnerability of Maldives to climate change, will be hosted by The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies on Monday, September 20, 2010. The exhibition will be part of an event organised by the school and named VULNERABLE MALDIVES which will also feature a conversation with Dr Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik, Vice President of the of Maldives.

“The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies is privileged to host a conversation and reception about climate change and its effects on a sinking nation with Dr. Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik, Vice President of the Republic of Maldives. Rapid seas level rise caused by global warming threatens the very existence of the Maldives, being the lowest country in the world. Talks by the Vice President will be accompanied by Vulnerable, a photography exhibition documenting the plight of the fragile coral islands of the Maldives, a nation subject to being erased, as it tries to safeguard an age-old culture and its beautiful atolls.

Yale University students have had the honor of working with the Maldives government, aiding in international environmental negotiations and climate change issues. Dr. Manik’s visit to Yale is testament to this relationship as well as a commitment to maintain an open, action-oriented, and progressive dialog about climate change and the its detrimental impacts on nations and people around the world – and none so much as small island states such as the Republic of Maldives.”

VULNERABLE exhibition documents the vulnerability of the fragile coral islands of the Maldives to climate change, through pictures from talented Maldivian photographers. Bluepeace appreciates the work of the students and the management of The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in setting up the exhibition.



Bluepeace has taken its photo exhibit ‘Vulnerable’ to the Hay Festival Wales, set in the amazingly beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, in a tented village in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. The exhibit, depicting how vulnerable the Maldives is to the impacts of climate change, was displayed at the festival on June 3. Hundreds of people visited the exhibition at the Hay Festival.

The High Commission of the Maldives in the United Kingdom and the National Centre for the Arts (NCA) of the Maldives supported Bluepeace in taking ‘Vulnerable’ to Wales.

Maldivian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Dr Farahanaz Faizal, accompanied by her staff, participated at the launch of the Hay Maldives event on June 3. The launch was marked with traditional Bodu Beru music, cultural games, Maldivian cuisine and a coconut scraping competition.

By taking the exhibit to the Hay Festival, Bluepeace aims to highlight the vulnerability of the Maldives to climate change and how a culture that has been preserved for centuries could be lost because of global warming and rising seas. The Hay Festival, which attracts poets, writers, artists and musicians, is the perfect gathering to deliver the message that more action is needed to battle climate change on a global level.

President Mohamed Nasheed told an audience at Hay Festival through a video link on 29 May that a huge campaign of direct street action was needed to change the climate change debate in the United States. Nasheed said it was the US which was the biggest obstacle to a global treaty on reducing carbon emissions, and not China and India.

“What we really need is a huge social 60s-style catalystic, dynamic street action. If the people in the US wish to change, it can happen. In the 60s and 70s, they’ve done that,” Nasheed said, referring to the anti-war activism of the 60s and 70s.

While the Maldives is calling for increased global activism to reduce carbon emissions, it has also started promoting cultural tourism in a bid to open the white sandy beaches to different types of travellers. The High Commission of the Maldives in the UK and the Hay Festival is brining the festival to the Maldives from 14 to 17 October 2010.

“The Festival project seeks to celebrate the cultural riches of the archipelago civilisation and to investigate what is special and unique about island life and mindset and to place that in context with the opportunities and challenges faced through climatic change,” Hay Festival said on its website.

“The Festival will provide a platform for focusing international attention on the Maldives, bringing together a selection of the best international and local artists from the fields of literature, art, science, drama, music, poetry and comedy. The Festival will also provide an opportunity for Maldivians to celebrate their own intrinsic, artistic culture,” Hay Festival said.

Wales is the third country where Bluepeace exhibited ‘Vulnerable’, a collection of amazing photos from talented Maldivian photographers. In December 2009, Bluepeace took the exhibit to Klimaforum09, the people’s climate summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark, coinciding with the COP15 conference. In April 2010 Bluepeace displayed a collection of photos from ‘Vulnerable’ at a symposium on Maldives titled Exploring the Contours of Democracy in the Maldives at New Delhi, India. In April the same collection was on display at a popular café in Delhi as well.

Bluepeace launched the exhibition online on October 24, 2009, the International Day of Climate Action. The exhibition was planned to be launched in Republican Square in Male’, Maldives, on October 24. However, Bluepeace was forced to cancel the physical exhibition scheduled for October 24, when Male’ Municipality backtracked on its offer of the Republican Square for the event.



“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” Dr Vandana Shiva, the world-renowned environmental activist and author from India quoted the famous writer Milan Kundera, as she addressed a gathering of youth activists and civil society groups at the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi, stressing how the youth of today symbolizes hope for the global climate movement. In the event organized by Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN) in association with Indian Law Institute to mark the Earth Day, Dr Shiva expressed hope for the future of the climate movement, noting the positive vibes generated by the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth that is about to conclude in Cochabamba, Bolivia; the climate negotiations in Bonn; and the COP16 conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico in December this year. Reflecting on the failure of the COP15 conference held in Copenhagen in December 2009, Dr Shiva painted a positive picture for the future, and noted Mahatma Gandhi as one of the key inspirations that has set her going in the path of activism for over 40 years.

Dr Vandana Shiva addressing an event organised by IYCN to mark Earth Day 2010

Bluepeace joined the Earth Day celebrations organized by IYCN in New Delhi, by making a presentation on the vulnerability of the Maldives to climate change and highlighting possible adaptation measures the country could introduce. In addition, Bluepeace emphasized the importance of protecting the coral reefs and coastal vegetation to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change. Bluepeace also noted the significance of India in combating climate change as India is an emerging global economic power and how India stands to gain by transforming into a green economy. A digital version of Bluepeace’s photo exhibition Vulnerable was presented at the event as well.

IYCN’s Earth Day event also included the screening of the documentary Eco Dharma, which showcases the Bishnois community in Rajasthan, which holds the belief that they should sacrifice their lives for protection of animals, trees and the natural environment.

Bluepeace’s recent activities in the Indian capital includes participating in a symposium on the Maldives, hosted by Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP) held from the 14th-15th of April 2010. Two representatives from Bluepeace participated in the conference titled Exploring the Contours of Democracy in the Maldives. Key figures from the Maldivian government, media and civil society were joined by influential politicians, academics, journalists and activists from India. The symposium provided a platform for Maldivians to share their concerns about the emerging democracy in the country. Lessons learned from the Indian democratic experience, and the outcomes of the environment and economic policies over the past 50 or so years in India were also shared.

Issues of concern raised from the Maldives include climate change, distribution of Tsunami aid, decentralization, human rights, security and religious extremism. At the conference, Bluepeace highlighted the threats to Maldives arising from climate change. A selection of photos from the Vulnerable exhibition was exhibited at the WISCOMP symposium while a digital version of the whole exhibition was presented.

The collection of 17 photos from the Vulnerable exhibition – a photo by each of the 17 photographers who participated in the exhibition – is now on display at Intermezzo Café & Restaurant in Defence Colony, New Delhi.

IYCN, which is assisting Bluepeace in promoting the Vulnerable exhibition in New Delhi, is a youth-driven organisation working on various projects across India. For example, IYCN, in association with Loop Solutions, is launching a project to turn the 500 kg of daily food waste generated in Khan Market of New Delhi into compost. The project will also involve encouraging students to build their own gardens and supporting community members to grow herbs needed for the restaurants in Khan Market.

Coinciding with the Earth Day, IYCN also held a fund-raising event at The Living Room Cafe at Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi. Music bands which performed at the event included Manzil, which consisted of former street children who learned music.

By collaborating with organisations such as IYCN, Bluepeace hopes to create a common vision for combating climate change in South Asia and increase the cooperation and participation of the youth in the global south in mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change.

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