Climate security an important topic for low-lying island nations: Minister Mariya

"Climate security" is a very important topic for a coastal island nation like the Maldives, Defense Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi said. The Minister made the statement while speaking at the "Special Session on Climate Security and Green Defense" of the 19th Asia Security Summit - "IISS Shangri-La Dialogue" currently underway in Singapore.

In her speech, Minister Mariya highlighted the relationship between climate security and national security. She noted that the Maldives is made up of 99.7 percent sea and had many islands less than three feet above sea level, adding that 70 percent of the country's infrastructure and more than 50 percent of the urban areas were within 100 meters of the sea. Therefore, climate security is a critical issue for such a country, she said.

The Minister noted that despite the challenges and concerns faced in ensuring the country's security and democracy, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih gave great importance to raising awareness among the international community about the adverse impacts of climate change on small island countries like the Maldives. She further said the Maldives Defense White Paper, which is currently being drafted, includes a provision guiding all agencies belonging to the military and defense sectors to incorporate more environmentally friendly "green" principles and procedures. She said discussions were ongoing between the authorities and MNDF on managing marine protected zones and ecological reserves on lands and estates allocated for military purposes.