Yes. Really. In spite of the many international agreements and accords we sign up for, Maldives has to be the one of the slowest adopters of environmentally friendly measures. Do we recycle? No. Do we sort our garbage? No. Do we use more environmentally friendly transport? No. Do we use renewable energy? No. No, a thousand times no!
I grew up hearing of the 3Rs, climate change, global warming, sinking islands; you name it I've heard it, I've studied it and lamented the ignorance of the general public when it came to such issues.
Take a look at the picture above. The small slips of paper from the ATMs just carelessly dropped on the floor. The little slot to deposit the pieces of paper is conveniently ignored. The mounds of garbage piled on street corners and exiting Male' is a common sight. The number of cars, motorcycles jostling for space on the road is another common sight.
Yet, we claim to be champions of the environment. We mark the Earth Hour. We talk abut how climate change will drown our small island nation. We are such hypocrites, loving the talk more than the walk.
Take Bhutan as an example. The country is not just carbon neutral - it's carbon negative. Bhutan is carbon negative. The country of less than a million people, a country ranked as a developing nation has achieved what few nations had achieved to do.
According to Proudly Carbon Neutral, the country emits around 1.5 million tonnes of carbon annually, while it's forests absorb over 6 million tonnes. To celebrate the birth of the new prince to the royal family, the country celebrated by planting 108,000 trees. Bhutan is aiming for zero net greenhouse gas emissions, zero-waste by 2030 and to grow 100 percent organic food by 2020. Impressive, yes. Unattainable, no.
Take Germany. A country counting it's population in millions had 99 percent of energy sourced from renewable energy sources.
Portugal ran for four days straight entirely on renewable energy.
These are some of the few nations, who are really making an effort to address climate change and become less carbon reliant. While this is done at the national level, citizens of those countries make a personal commitment to do their part.
We are taking about the major international challenges facing humanity today. The Government can only do so much; unless it is supplemented by daily action from the public, the fate of our nation is at peril.