Maldives - Island Community Case Study

  • Created by: idavila
  • Created on: 10-06-19 13:08

Key Facts

  • Lowest lying country in the world→Avg. 1.5 m above sea level
  • Archipelago of 1200 islands
  • 400,000 population
  • Malé is the most densely populated city in the world→100,000 in 2km^2
  • 100 luxury resorts developed in the last 40 years
  • >1 million tourists in 2013
  • Import duties and tourism related taxes account for 90% of the government income
  • US$10,535 per capita; split unequally as 50% of Maldivians earn <$1 per day
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Threats & Impacts

Sea-Level Rise

  • Predicted 1m rise by 2100
  • 1m high wave from Asian tsunami in December 2004 killed 82; made 12,000 homeless; caused £250 million in damages

Coral Reef Destruction

  • Rising sea temperatures and increasing acidity are killing the symbiotic algae that inhabit the coral, causing coral bleaching, degradation and crumbling. This prevents corals from protecting the shoreline against wave energy
  • In 1998, sea-temperature warming of as much as 5°C due to a single El Niño phenomenon event caused coral bleaching, killing 2/3 of the nation's coral reefs
  • Worsened by rising sea levels, stronger waves and stormier weather

Extreme and Erratic Weather

  • Climate change has caused more unpredictable and turbulent weather
  • Severe events have increased to around 2-3 times a year
  • Storms are able to cause flash floods
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Threats & Impacts

Fresh Water Shortages

  • Dry season becoming longer and more intense
  • >¼ require water shipments when water becomes low
  • Bigger ocean swells are driving waves across islands, contaminating fresh water supplies 

Disease

  • Hotter, wetter conditions create a perfect habitat for mosquitos, encouraging the spread and transmission of dengue fever

Decreasing Fish Stocks

  • 2006-2011 tuna catches fell by 40%
    • Fish migrate to cooler waters/have a lack of food due to changing weather conditions
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Adaptations & Mitigation

Government - Long Term

  • Buying land from nations with similar cultures (e.g. Sri Lanka) by creating a 'sovereign wealth fund'
  • Target of 100% carbon neutral by 2019
  • In 2009, Japanese government gave $10 million to equip schools and public buildings with solar panels
  • Underwater cabinet meeting in 2009
  • In 2009, plans were outlined for a 30 turbine wind farm in Malé, providing 40% of the countries energy*
  • Hulhumalé, a 2m high man-made island, could house 160,000 when finished
  • $63 million used to build a 3m wall around Malé, partially funded by the Japanese government

*Strategies set in place by President Mohamed Nasheed, elected in 2008; Nasheed was voted out in 2013, so many plans were not followed through

Government - Short Term

  • Hulhumalé can be impacted by sea level rise
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Adaptations & Mitigation

  • Building the island upwards

Local Community - Long Term

  • Pro-democratic forces continually protest

Local Community - Short Term

  • Communities are moving to high land, although this may eventually become flooded
  • Abandoning islands
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