Responses to climate change among Indian Ocean nations

The May/June 2009 issue of Aramco World, the magazine of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, reports on two approaches that developing countries are taking to counter the effects of climate change and rising sea levels.

“Bangladesh’s Audacity of Hope” by Richard Covington covers plans by Fazle Hasan Abed, chairperson of a NGO in Bangladesh to train Bangladeshis to live and work overseas.

“But,” warns Abed, “global warming will create havoc in our country unless we can send more people abroad as emigrants.”… Abed opens a folder on his desk to show me an agreement signed only a few hours earlier with officials from Ryukyu University in Okinawa for an exchange of Bangladeshi and Japanese students and researchers. “Japan is rapidly losing population, so our proposal is to create Japanese-speaking Bangladeshi entrepreneurs who will eventually send workers to Japan,” he explains. “We could do the same for Korea, Spain, Italy and other countries that are facing aging societies—or even thinly populated places like Namibia,” he adds, calmly taking another puff.

“Rising the Maldives” by Larry Luxner discusses the raisied artificial island of Hulhumalé in the Maldives.

Yet man-made Hulhumalé neither looks nor feels anything like its natural sister islands. From its conception only eight years ago, in 1997, to its official inauguration on May 12, 2004, this work-in-progress is being meticulously planned to boost the country’s economic fortunes while staving off the rising seas that may one day wipe much of the world’s smallest Muslim nation off the map.

Both articles are available online with photos at:

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