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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