Saturday, September 07, 2019

Another Warning on Rising Sea-Levels

According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, more than 20 million people are uprooted every year by floods, storms, landslides and other extreme winter conditions, with the vast majority of such displacement occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ovais Sarmad, the UN Climate Change deputy executive secretary, described the impacts of climate change around the world as "devastating" and said that "there is urgency" in addressing them.

Last month, Indonesia said it would relocate its capital from the sinking city of Jakarta by 2024 to the island of Borneo. The northern part of the city is sinking 2.5m every 10 years, and will continue to sink by as much as 25cm a year, even if the capital eventually moves. In July, independent experts proposed building a 20km western dyke and a 12km eastern dyke to protect Jakarta from seawater, while keeping the city of 10 million people from eventually going underwater. According to the Jakarta Post, the project would cost at least $18.7bn.

A World Bank study predicted that 40 percent of Bangkok, the Thai capital, may be submerged by 2030. A 2015 National Reform Council report predicted that Bangkok risks being submerged in less than 15 years if nothing is done.

In Manila, a city of 13 million people, a report published in May showed that parts of the areas just outside of the Philippine capital are already completely underwater, forcing its residents to relocat. According to IPCC, Manila is subsiding "at a worrying 10cm per year".

Shanghai, the Chinese coastal city, had already sunk as much as 12.12mm by 2000, according to the Shanghai Institute of Geological Survey. Since 1921, the city has subsided a total of 2.6 metres, the Asian Correspondent reported.
Even Singapore faces serious threats. Last month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said protecting the low-lying island against rising sea levels could cost an estimated $72bn or more over the coming decades.

Fiji plans to move dozens of coastal villages inland to higher ground, and already moved its first coastal community inland in 2014. Nilesh Prakash, the country's head of climate change and international cooperation explained, "Moving them inland means they lose access to livelihoods. There are also socio-cultural and traditional ties to consider."

The Marshall Islands is building sea walls to protect coastal communities. Sea-level rise and erosion are set to make most island atolls uninhabitable by 2050, and for the Marshall Islands, home to 75,000 people, moving to higher ground is not an option. Angeline Heine, the country's national energy planner, said,
"We don't have the luxury of more land or mountains to move to. We are just focused on our survival, and wondering whether we will still be here 30 to 40 years from now."

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