Representatives of 26 small island nations met at an upscale resort in the Maldives recently to write a resolution declaring climate change a threat to basic human rights.
The nations are members of The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and are understandably concerned about the possibility of rising sea levels due to global warming. They intend to present the resolution at the upcoming U.N. climate change conference in Bali.
The resolution is expected to contain declarations that climate change threatens the basic human right to a safe, secure and sustainable environment. This is one of the first instances of global warming being viewed as a threat to human rights rather than the environment.
Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said: “It is time to put people back at the heart of climate change diplomacy.” Gayoom has been very active on climate change issues during his 30 years as President. He has good reason to be concerned. The island chain is less than 2 meters above sea level, and with sea levels expected to rise by 59 cm by 2100, the nation and its $1 billion economy, mostly based on tourism, could be virtually wiped out.
The resolution will likely be accompanied by practical suggestions for tackling climate change and reducing emissions.
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