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A threatened Maldives joins Global Climate Strike movement

Ahmed Aiham
17 September 2019, MVT 14:17
School students and children lead the Earth Hour Maldives Climate March. PHOTO: AMERICAN CENTER MALE'
Ahmed Aiham
17 September 2019, MVT 14:17

Local environmental movement 'Save Maldives' will coordinate protests in relation to the weeklong 'Global Climate Strike', to be held from September 20 to 27.

Multiple discussions have been initiated by the group in order to organize protests across the country.

Save Maldives will begin the Global Climate Strike on September 20, Friday. PHOTO: TWITTER / SAVE MALDIVES
Young people confront Minister of Education Aishath Ali outside government administrative building 'Velaanaage'. PHOTO: TWITTER / SAVE MALDIVES

A volunteer for Save Maldives, Humaida Abdul Ghafoor, stated that protests were sparked by the government's "all talk but no action policy."

Despite the government attending various international climate change-related conferences and advocating against its devasting effects on a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) such as Maldives, environmentalists are voicing concern against the administration's refusal to halt state-sponsored 'ecocide', in the form of tree uprooting, land reclamation and the loss of biodiversity, through degradation of the Maldivian ecosystem.

A number of young people joined the discussions to organise the upcoming Climate Strike. PHOTO: TWITTER / SAVE MALDIVES

The global strike was inspired as a result of 16-year-old Swedish national Greta Thunberg's lone protest outside the Swedish Parliament building in 2018 citing political inaction against climate change. Her actions sparked a worldwide movement dubbed 'School Strike for Climate', which has since become one of the leading youth-led climate change organizations in the world.

On September 20, Friday, a mass protest will be held ahead of the 24th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, aiming to pressure governments towards addressing the dire situation.

“For 25 years, countless people have come to the U.N. climate conferences begging our world leaders to stop emissions, and clearly that has not worked as emissions are continuing to rise. So I will not beg the world leaders to care for our future", said Greta.

"I will instead let them know change is coming whether they like it or not".

Greta Thunberg appeals to the world to join the #GlobalClimateStrike. PHOTO: TWITTER / YOUTH STRIKE FOR CLIMATE

The global strike hopes to mobilize millions of people around the world, in an effort to curb the climate crisis before irreversible damages occur.

"These Climate Strikes won’t solve the climate crisis alone," said the Global Climate Movement, "What this moment can do is demonstrate that people are no longer willing to continue with business as usual.

At present, 120 countries have scheduled protests during the week and over 1.5 million people are estimated to take part in the demonstrations.

In the Maldives, large scale infrastructural projects have decimated natural assets on various islands including multiple surf breaks in capital city Male' and airport island Hulhule', as well as the controversial development of an airport in Kulhudhuffushi, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, which saw 13 hectares of the island's prized mangrove wetland reclaimed.

Various organizations are taking part in the strike, including women empowerment group Uthema Maldives and anti-corruption watchdog Transparency Maldives.

Save Maldives is working towards "changing behaviours and attitudes that adversely affect the environment and support community conservation efforts".

Their goal is to ensure the protection and preservation of the environment whilst recognising the importance of an independent Environmental Protection Agency to achieve these targets.

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